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HON. JOHN RUSSELL YOUNG 




PRINCE KUNG, CHINA. 



■■^HE FLOWERY KINGDOM 




AND 



The band of the /Vlil<ado 



OR 



CHINA, JAPAN AND COREA 

CONTAINING THEIR 

COMPLETE HISTORY DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME; 

MANNERS, CUSTOMS AND PECULIARITIES OF 

THE PEOPLE; SUPERSTITIONS; 

IDOL WORSHIP; 

INDUSTRIES; NATURAL SCENERY, ETC.. ETC. 

TOGETHER WITH A 

GRAPHIC ACCOUNT OF THE WAR 

BETWEEN CHINA AND JAPAN, ITS CAUSES, LAND AND 
NAVAL BATTLES. ETC.. ETC. 



By henry davenport NORTHROP, 

/// 

Author of "'Charming Bible Stories,'" '"Peerless Reciter,'' etc., etc. 



WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY 

HON. JOHN RUSSELL YOUNG, 

LATE AMERICAlSr MI?s"ISXKR TO THK COURT OF C'CLVi^ J^. 



PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED WITH MANY SUPERB ILLUSTRATIONS. 

'\ () 

WILLIAM BRlGGa publisher. 

TORONTO, CANADA. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S94, by 

J. R. JONES, 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 

All Rights Reserved. 



N^775P/ 



604306 



^_____ IIKTRONIC VERSION 

gr- — ' '-Q^ , AVAIlAWi 



PREFACE. 



THE Continent of Asia is waking up from the sleep of ages. Japan is thrilled by 
the dawning light of Western civilization. China is learning that the world 
moves, and she must shake off the lethargy of centuries and take her place 
in the grand march of nations. . Corea is suddenly stirred with a ne\y life 
and becomes a central figure in the great drama of the Orient. 

Public interest in America and Europe is aroused, and all intelligent persons are 
eager to obtain information concerning these Oriental countries from the most reliable 
sources. This information is contained in this volume. 

BOOK I treats of the History of China from the Earliest Times to the 
Present Day. Dating back to the earliest dawn of history, China has outlived all the 
great nations of ancient times, and is a living Empire to-day. No other nation in the 
world has such a record. Against the flood that has swept mighty kingdoms into 
oblivion, China has stood like an immovable rock. She is the wonder and the miracle 
among the august Empires of the East. 

The reader traces her surprising growth, her conquests and her power at a period 
when " time was young." He sees the rise and fall of brilliant dynasties, while one 
Emperor after another appears upon the checkered scene, each of whom is invested 
with the proud title of " The Son of Heaven." He reads the graphic story of the 
Han Rulers, who, in arms and conquests, are worthy to be ranked with Roman 
Caesars. He learns why, for more than 2000 years, the Chinese have been proud to 
call themselves the " Children of Han." 

Then comes the Mongolian conquest. With tramping legions, with dashing 
steeds and gleaming spears, the Northern hordes sweep down upon the plains of 
the " Flowery Kingdom." The panorama of startling events moves on, and we are 
brought to the dynasty by which China is governed at the present time. The 
Manchus ascended the " Dragon Throne," and still sway their sceptre over nearly 
400,000,000 of the human race. 

The History of China within the present century is read with eager interest. 
With the record of other great crises, a masterly and thrilling account is given of 
the famous Taeping Rebellion. Suddenly a young English officer appears upon the 
scene. The world knows him now as the celebrated " Chinese Gordon," who per- 
formed miracles of valor and conquest. Fertile in resources, brave and magnetic, silent 
and stern, unyielding as granite, his story reads like that of the renowned old heroes 
of classic fable. All lands are filled with his dazzling fame. 

This is followed by an account of Prince Kung and the Regency, and the history 
closes with the reign of the present Emperor. 

Then comes a full description of China and its people. The gorgeous splendors of 

iii 



iv PREFACE. 

the Emperor's Court and Palace are vividly pictured — the mystery that surrounds him, 
the vast power he wields, the princes and nobles that attend upon him, the curious 
ceremonies of his marriage, the awe with which his subjects prostrate themselves before 
him, the palatial magnificence, the life of the Empress and the disdain for foreign sovereigns. 

BOOK II contains a complete account of Japan and the Japanese. Japan is 
the rising star among the nations of the Orient. The rapid strides she has made in 
the last thirty years have surprised the civilized world. Almost at a single bound she 
has taken rank among the enlightened nations of the earth. 

The reader discovers the charm of her ancient history and the halo of renown 
that surrounds her Valiant Heroes and Fam6us Rulers. He reads the account of her 
old Feudal System ; the grand achievements of her powerful Tycoons and Daimios ; 
the might and majesty of her Emperors, and the heroic deeds of her brave armies. 

Japan is the " Land of the Rising Sun ; " she is set like a gem in the sea. Her 
harbors invite the commerce of the world. Her soil is rich ; her natural scenery 
delights the eye of the traveller; she is wonderfully endowed by nature for the 
products of agriculture and the beauty of flower, field and forest. The vivid descrip- 
tions of her coasts and harbors, her headlands and landscapes, and likewise of her 
myriad Temples, her Palatial Residences, her old Castles and fragrant Gardens, present 
such a picture as only the far-famed Orient can furnish. This volume is especially rich 
and entertaining in its descriptions of Life among the Japanese. 

The reader obtains a delightful view of the ancient city of Kioto, the former 
Capital. He wanders through the crowded streets of the great city of Tokio ; he is 
taken into the homes of the people and is made acquainted with their peculiar charac- 
teristics ; their habits of daily life ; their modes of dress ; their social customs, including 
marriages and funerals ; their endless amusements, and charming festivals. 

The curtain is lifted from the Court of the Mikado and he is made acquainted 
with the grand State Ceremonies, the singular rules of Royal Etiquette, the gorgeous 
Dress of Officials, the brilliant Maids of Honor, and the loyal respect shown to the 
Emperor and Empress. The story of the Tycoons is fully told, with that of the Revo- 
lution of 1868, by which they were swept from power. Tremendous changes since this 
memorable period mark the History of Japan. 

BOOK III contains a full description of Corea, the " Hermit Kingdom," and 
furnishes a concise account of the war between China and Japan. The causes of the 
Great Conflict are stated, and an accurate estimate of the two armies is given — their 
numbers, discipline, equipments and the ability of their Commanders. The rapid move- 
ments of the Japanese Army, its brilliant achievements at Ping-Yang, and the Great 
Naval Battles are fully described. The whole course of stirring events is traced, and 
the reader sees the rolling battle-clouds and hears the shock of contending legions. 

This account of China, Japan and Corea is a most captivating story. It is tinged 
with the golden colors of the Orient. The subjects which it treats are of great interest, 
as forces are at work in Asia which cannot fail to affect the destiny of the whole world. 



INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. 

By Hon. JOHN RUSSELL YOUNG, 

Late American jVEinister to th.e Court of Cliina. 

THE following pages will present to the reader a clear and eloquent narra- 
tive of two nations which now occupy the attention of the civilized 
world. Unhappily this interest is awakened b\' the fearful penalt}' of 
war. In such a war Americans have no thought, but that it ma}'' 
end in a lasting peace. There are no real points of difference between China 
and Japan. They belong to the same race — they have no antagonisms invok- 
ing the arbitration of the world. Divided, they become the prej^ of the ravening 
Western powers which, for two centuries, have rended Asia, making implaca- 
ble warfare upon venerable civilizations. 

Those who stud}^ the progress of this unhapp\^ war will read in the pages 
of this volume man}'- interesting lessons as to its probable effect upon our 
civilization. I have had occasion to recite some obser\'ations and experiences 
on this theme, which I maj-, in a measure, repeat as my best thought upon the 
larger consequences of the war and the influence which China, no matter what 
the outcome of the contest with Japan, cannot fail to impress upon the destinies 
of Asia, and perhaps the Western world. 

And in this connection it is well to remember that two events in the 
Christian era stand out from all others as the most momentous of modem 
history — the overrunning of Asia and the invasion of Europe in the thirteenth 
century by Genghis Khan, and in the fourteenth century by Timur, or Tamer- 
lane. These conquerors came from the same Tartar race which now governs 
the Chinese Empire. 

Genghis was a son of a small chief, who lived be^'ond the Great Wall, the 
head of one of those nomadic tribes which still lead a semi-pastoral, semi- 
warlike life on the endless stretches of Mongolia. He was to conquer and 
bring under suzerainty Northern China, overrun Persia, and invade Russia, 
going as far as the Dnieper. Timur was the descendant of Genghis Khan. 
A century later Timur crossed the Tigris, captured Delhi, Damascus, Baalbec, 
and, marching his standards to the very gates of Moscow, cut a wider swath in 
his conquests than any warrior of modem times. These invasions were sue- 



vi . INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. 

cessful because their leaders commanded myriads of soldiers of a warlike 
temperament and had inexhaustible sources from which to recruit their armies. 

We have been confronted with no such movement in recent days for the 
reason that China, secure in herself, has lapsed into the ways of peace. She 
has put aside the spear and taken up the pruning hook — is content to spin and 
fish, to dig and delve. We have not disturbed the dormant mammoth. There 
has been no modern diplomacy so daring as to provoke, to the last energies of 
despair, the power which marched under the Tartar's ruthless lead. There 
have been other invasions, world-changing, and effacing the growths of ages — 
the taking of Constantinople, the rise of the Ottoman power, the Empire of 
Charlemagne, the Napoleonic episode — but no such desolating, continent- 
sweeping conquest as when the warriors of the race which now govern China 
menaced the capital of Russia and seized the capital of Hindostan. 

This lamentable contest between China and Japan is the first serious 
conflict that China has known in modern times. There have been opium, 
Tonquiu and other small, despicable wars forced upon China for mercenary 
purposes — to acquire territory, exact indemnities or crystallize a majority in 
the House of Commons. China has dealt with them as the respectable house- 
keeper in the Scottish lowlands dealt with Rob Roy and the freebooters. He 
made his best terms with the thieves and bade them return to their thievery 
and leave him the remainder in peace. 

The situation changes. China and Japan are of the same race. We know 
that there is no animosity so unrelenting as that between kinsmen. China 
might bow to the guns of Europe, and return to her drifting, silent, peace 
loving life. It will be different as regards Japan. This must be in its most 
deplorable sense an internecine war. However or whenever it may end, the 
outcome can only be the disintegration of China by Russia, aided perhaps by 
France, or a vendetta between China and Japan to last for centuries, with 
consequences not to be contemplated without sorrow by those who love Japan 
for her beauty, her art and the charm of her sincere, gentle, exquisite ways. 

Apart from this consideration, however, which affects the combatants 
alone, there is a thought inspired by a remembrance of what the Tartars did 
in other days under the lead of Genghis Khan. For centuries China, so 
far as the outer world is concerned, has lain at peace — repellant to what we 
call our civilization — wanting in enterprise, her people following the paths of 
their fathers, silent, indifferent, perhaps contemptuous of mankind. The 
more than four hundred millions who compose the Empire — compact, integral, 
bound together by laws, customs, literature and faith, their ceremonies ordained 
a thousand years before Christ — have not for centuries troubled Christendom. 

A territory as large as that of the United States, with every variety of 



INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. vii 

climate and the finest of water systems. A soil as rich as that of France. 
The rivers and seas teem with fish. Her rice and fish alone enable her to 
support a population that may be estimated at one-fourth or more, probably 
one-third, of the human race. To compel the transformation of a people so 
great in the inherent resources of power from the ways of peace to the ways 
of war, is to assume a responsibility whose gravity it is impossible to over- 
estimate. 

This apathy of China has been explained upon many grounds, mainly 
fanciful. She is the first nation, heathen though she be, to accept the divine 
admonition that peace on earth should be the highest aim of human endeavor. 
So, while civilized States, living under the accepted sacred light of Christian 
truth, have undergone centuries of throatcutting and pillage until it has 
become a canon of our ethics that war is the natural state of man, that war 
must have its season for the good of society, that the generation is barren 
which knows no war, China has remained at peace. 

Not only has she remained at peace, but she has taught her people that 
war is a crime, and the profession of arms ungracious and undeserving of 
honor. This reverses the faith of the Christians since the days when the 
Caesars won their crowns by the sword. A foolish, heathen fancy, no doubt, 
but there is a good deal of the New Testament in it, and it has served the 
higher interests of mankind. 

For if China, since the Ming dynasty, had been so far " advanced in 
civilization" as to realize that no god is so deserving of w^orship as the god 
of war, history would now tell a different tale. If some modem Tartar ruler, 
with the genius of Napoleon, had won the people's confidence, shown them the 
imminent peril of their fine philosophies in the presence of the mad, raging, 
warring outside world, and, so doing, had armed China, civilization would have 
had her problem. The Chinaman contains within himself every faculty of the 
soldier. He is fearless. He does not dread suicide. He has extraordinary 
endurance. He can march all day upon a portion of rice. With reverence as 
the basis of his faith, he knows what is so essential to a soldier — the law of 
obedience. Aloreover, the walking from Moscow to Pekin is good, as the 
caravans of the present day will attest. 

China has had no Napoleon to awaken the memories and possibilities of 
Genghis Khan. If there has been no violent movement as the result of so 
mighty an inspiration, there has been a slow, steady, glacierlike tendency to 
edge away from the traditions and give the sword the place it holds among 
Christian people. This is due to the influence of Li Hung Chang, the 
Emperor's most powerful subject, and among the first to preach the gospel 
of war. 



viii INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. 

I saw a striking evidence of this change some years ago. It was my duty 
to make an official visit to Ningpo, and exchange courtesies with the ruling 
Mandarin, in company with the late Admiral John Lee Davis, then command- 
ing our squadron in Asia. It was part of this mission to impress our Chinese 
friends with the strength, and especially the discipline, of the American navy. 
And where could this be better done than on board of a man-of-war ? When 
the Mandarin made his visit he inspected the ship and witnessed a drill. The 
function was finely done, and the Admiral was proud of his brave and 
skilled men. 

We returned the visit next day, and were received with fine Chinese 
ceremou}', Admiral Davis paying the Mandarin the compliment of taking with 
him, in the blaze of full dress uniform, as many of his officers as could be 
spared. After the tea drinking and gracious speeches, our host tendered 
Admiral Davis a review of his Chinese soldiery. A battalion was put through 
the manual of arms. The tactics and word of command were Knglish. The 
business was perfect, no military performance of that nature more commend- 
able. I recall the Admiral's astonishment, amounting to chagrin : " To 
think," he said, " that I should have asked that Chinese Mandarin to look at 
my people, when his own soldiers could show them how to drill." This 
incident made a deep impression. There in that quadrangle of Ningpo, visible 
to the Admiral's keen, professional eyes, was a unit of the force which, under 
proper conditions, might make a strange dream come true. It was ni}^ first 
evidence of the awakening of the warlike spirit of China, and not only 
awakened, but trained to the best offices of war. 

I saw something at that time of Chinese troops at various ports. While 
in no case was there the perfection of Ningpo, the development of the military 
art wherever we visited was evident. At some points there were parcels of 
Bannermen, grotesque, not military, tumbling over one another, guarding 
some Tartar general. This was the incongruous mass, dumped into semblance 
of martial form, pensioners, loungers, who had never felt the real test of war. 
The Taeping rebellion was little more than one body of Chinese troops falling 
over another, soldiers pausing in the middle of an action to dine, and resuming 
hostilities after dinner. Battles were continued like some of those Chinese 
dramas which require a week for the exemplification of the plot. Matters, 
however, were advancing with emphasis. The Ningpo incident was a pregnant 
lesson. 

There is no reason why the same discipline, the same teaching in the art 
of war, which sent an American Admiral dazed and grieving out of the quad- 
rangle at Ningpo, should not, if applied to the Chinese Empire, result in an 
army as large as the armies of Europe combined. It would be as well armed, 



INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. ix 

as well drilled, as brave, and more easily handled in the commissary and quarter- 
master's departments. It would need alone the motive and the leadership to 
induce such an army to try conclusions with the Asiatic and European world. 

War is the science of force against force — mind against mind. There is 
no reason why a Chinaman may not acquire it. In i860 a French oJB&cial 
reported to his government that a few regiments of French troops could 
conquer China. This was but a generation ago. Tonquin super\^ened, as 
Jules Ferr}^ sadly remembered, and in Tonquin we saw the progress that 
China had made. That forlorn campaign was to the European powers the first 
glimpse of reawakened China. The world learned that China had divined the 
futility of matchlocks and calico forts, that she was studying, like the rest of 
us, the appalling litany of war. To measure the pace of Chinese progress in 
this sinister doctrine, we have but to compare China as seen by the French 
officers in i860 — an Empire that could have been ridden down b}^ a few French 
regiments — and the China which checked France in Tonquin. 

We have but to turn from the shuffling rabble which was wont to guard 
the Tartar General to the firm, steady lines at Ningpo. We have but to con- 
trast the discipline of the troops who followed Li Hung Chang and the English 
General Gordon against the Taepings with the army now uuder Li's command 
in the northern provinces. As to the power of this army in battle with Western 
troops it would be idle to speculate. I presume that its condition is not so good 
as that of the Japanese army ; that it suffers from lax administration ; from 
confiding too much to foreigners, who do not show their best side to China ; 
from an innate, inherited and pious aversion to war. This will yield to severe, 
consistent discipline. And remember, likewise, that the Chinese are not an 
*' enthusiastic people." Their hearts are not " easily fired." The}^ are not 
prone to outbursts of public emotion. China moves as a glacier rather than as 
the volcano or the cyclone. 

But she moves ! You may defeat her to-day, you may defeat her to-mor- 
row, you may bombard her Taku forts, you may even land an army, and, 
marching over the low, alluvial fertile lands of Northern China, spring upon 
Pekin. What then ? \"ou have no more gained the country than by the 
capture of Boston you would gain the United States. It is like warring 
upon waves. You may cut and slash and stab, the billows will serry up and 
roll. It is fighting an impalpable enemy — as if assailing the air or the clouds. 
Japan victorious, and she would have a countr}'- she could neither govern nor 
hold. Victories again and again repeated could exact from China no more 
than what China deigned to give — an indemnit}^, an island, or even an abandon- 
ment of Corea — which would do China no harm and Japan no good. The 
vendetta alone would remain. 



X. INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. 

In the meantime, the awakening Chinese martial spirit is intensified. You 
give it the truculent motives of hatred and revenge. China learns from Japan 
the lesson that for two generations we have been trying to blast into her by- 
cannon and fires — that if she would hold her own with the Christian she must 
do what Christian nations have done. She must turn aside from the deliberate 
and the harmonious legends of the God of love and peace, from the Sermon on 
the Mount, and those pearly heaven-suffused Beatitudes, and, leaving them to 
missionaries and Sunday-school children, accept the gospel that arms alone are 
the price of a people's salvation. We have forced China to throw off the sloth 
of peace and drink the wine of war. Japan will accelerate the process. Where 
will it end ? What graver menace than a nation armed — a nation that could 
put twenty millions of men in the field and not feel it as we did the burden of 
our civil war ? And especially when it is a nation governed by the descendants 
of the Tartars, from whom came Genghis and Timur. 

The history of our efforts to press upon China our Western ideas in 
religion and trade, when we study their consequences, illustrates my meaning. 
We have been impatient to have China Anglicized — Americanized — one with 
the Western world. The late Mr. Burlingame, Minister to China during the 
Lincoln Administration, discussed this question with me, and recited the speech 
of a wise old mandarin who sat in the ministry of Prince Kung. 

Burlingame was urging upon the Government the wisdom of China throw- 
ing herself into the arms of the Western powers. He pointed out, as every 
American Minister has done since the days of Caleb Cushing, the inestimable 
advantages that would accrue from the policy of progress. "You Western 
people," replied the Chinese statesman, " are angry with us, because we do not 
go ahead. You would have us become in a day as England or the United 
States. You overlook the unique conditions of our society, the burdens of 
many ages, the exigencies of ancient and venerated customs, the wants of a 
teeming population, our inability to meet the crisis which a sudden change in 
essential matters would impose, not alone upon this population, but upon those 
who are responsible for its subsistance ; the conservative character of institu- 
tions which have endured beyond the uttermost limits of your history. You 
would have us topple over this past, with which for centuries we have been 
content, unconscious of the blessings you now bring in open hands. You 
would have us enter at once upon the hurrying channels of Western enter- 
prise. Now, let me tell you! You are, as I have said, angry. But, if we 
were to take your advice, you would be angrier still. You complain that we 
go too slow. You would soon complain, because we were going too fast." 

Had Mr. Burlingame lived to see the fulfilment of the work to which he 
gave so much genius and enthusiasm he would have realized, so far as the 



INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. x£ 

United States was concerned, the prescience of the Chinese statesman. He 
would have seen the consequences of that Chinese progress, which was his 
fondly-cherished hope and dream. We remember with what acclaim he was 
received when he came at the head of his stately embassy. The country'- rose 
to him. He was to escort an ancient civilization into the family of nations. 
It was fitting, as we all felt in our enthusiasm, that the youngest of nations 
should give the fraternal hand to the oldest. 

Apart from this sentiment, America saw in the avatar of the Burlingame 
embassy the solution of so many problems. Surely the heavens were once 
more on the side of America. We were starving for labor. This hard}', tire- 
less, intelligent snd industrious people — and so cheap, too — would come and 
build our railways. They would develop our Pacific Empire. They would 
open the El Dorado mines and make the fields of California glisten and glow. 
This opening of a cheap labor supply, at the very time when the Californias 
needed it to become rich and imperial commonwealths, was accepted as one of 
those timely interpositions of God's providence in which we see with what 
wisdom He rules the world. 

This was the prevailing rhetoric when the magnanimous Burlingame — na 
finer American in my time — closed his mission, so far as China was concerned, 
and went to Europe. I saw much of him on the eve of his departure, and 
recall his pride over the welding of the two countries into an alliance, which 
would endure to the good of both and the welfare of mankind. 

But the Chinese statesman, who had warned Burlingame against a preci- 
pitate acceptance by China of Western ideas, or any special relations between 
the two countries other than what had existed for ages, was the wiser. Bur- 
lingame did not live to see it, but the reaction came. With what swiftness it 
came ! Experience soon proved that in welcoming the Chinese we were not 
receiving a new supply of labor like the ^African, but the overflow of a superior 
race. Wherever this labor came into competition it won. The Chinese con- 
quered upon every field of industry wherever he had fair play. He began in 
the laundry. He ascended to the cigar shop, the vineyard, the fisheries, the 
gardens. He would soon have reached the counting-house and the bank. 

I recall the Burlingame incident as an illustration of what the Chinese 
have done in commerce and industiy. America was compelled to reverse the 
Burlingame policy and protect her labor against a people who, without lessening 
the strength of their own Empire, could have poured into these States a popula- 
tion larger than that which now inhabits them. Success in peace and war arises 
from these same conditions. The winner in the field of labor is apt to be winner 
in the field of strife. 

The elements, which formed an industrial invasion, against which, with 



xii INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. 

all of our vaunted prowess and invincibility, we were compelled to defend our- 
selves with questionable legislation, are the elements which made possible the 
overrunning of Asia and the invasion of Europe. So that in cheerily urging 
Japan into war, and in pressing upon China a policy like that which dictates 
the armaments of Germany and France, we come within the admonition of the 
Chinese statesman to Burlingame : " You complain that we go too slow. You 
would soon complain that we go too fast." 

We are, if we would but admit it, face to face with a vast problem. 
Sir Harr}'- Parkes, the famous British Minister to China, said to me one day 
in Pekin that he had studied it for forty-three years, and could not comprehend 
it. And Sir Harry Parkes was a statesman of consummate intelligence. The 
late John T. Delane, editor of the London Times^ and among the foremost 
journalists of the age, advised a young friend of mine, connected w^th his paper, 
and in a manner beginning his career in the press, to study the East. The 
politics of the next generation, Mr. Delane believed, would turn upon the 
Chinese more than upon any other question. These were wise men who looked 
out upon the far horizon. 

As to the outcome of the present war, I have no idea that the great Powers 
will permit it to be fought to a finish. A hurried peace will be imposed by 
Russia or Great Britain as soon as either combatant has won a decisive victory. 
There will be a peace with " compensations " to the intervening Powers in the 
way of land or seaports. The pity of it is that China and Japan are fighting 
under the very eyes of the ravening eagles who sit waiting in their eyrie, ready 
to pounce upon one or the other as their prey. It is a miserable, unnecessary 
business, if only one had the heart to write about it — as I have not — remember- 
ing so much that was hopeful and full of promise in those fair, beautiful lands, 
and seeing in this war the wreck of so much that was hoped for by those who 
wished them well. 

Our main concern should lie in the fact that within this war may be 
enclosed the most serious question of the times. By forcing China into the 
lists as an armed nation we assume a measureless responsibility. China, as I 
have said, moves as the glacier — silent, vast, grinding, sure — undisturbed^ 
through the ages, antedating the most ancient of Western civilization, vener- 
able when Homer sang and before the Roman Empire was founded, and Time 
as yet bringing no decay. But the glacier may have an impulse such as China 
may receive from this war with Japan. Therein lies the gravity of the problem, 
which is worthy of study in the light of what is written of Genghis Khan and 
Timur. 

John Russell Young. 



CONTENTS. 



BOOK I. 



China: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day 



CHAPTER I. 



. CHAPTER IX. 



Early History OF THE Celestial Em- The Punishment of Criminals . . . 180 

FIRE 17 



CHAPTER II. 
The Story of the Han Rulers . . 30 



CHAPTER III. 
The Mongol Conquest of China 



CHAPTER X. 
Chinese Mechanics and Merchants 191 



CHAPTER XI. 
44 I Chinese Marriage Customs . 



CHAPTER IV. 
The First Manchu Ruler .... 74 

CHAPTER V. 

The Taeping Rebellion and Story 
OF Chinese Gordon 91 

CHAPTER VI. 
Prince Kung and the Regency . . 122 

CHAPTER VII. 
The Reign of the Emperor Kwangsu 145 

CHAPTER VIII. 

The Emperor of China and His 
Court 162 



198 



. 213 



CHAPTER XII. 
Varieties of Chinese Life . 

CHAPTER XIII. 



Food, Dress and Amusements of the 
Chinese 235 



CHAPTER XIV. 
The Religions of China 254 

CHAPTER XV. 
Country Life in China 274 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Agricultural Products and Exports 280 

xiii 



XIV 



CONTENTS. 

BOOK 11. 
Japan and the Japanese. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



PAGE. 



Early History of Japan ..... 289 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

The Country and the People 



303 



CHAPTER XIX. 
Domestic Life in Japan ...... 321 

CHAPTER XX. 
The Residence of the Shoguns . . 333 

CHAPTER XXI. 
The Great City of Tokio .... 355 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Shops and Industries of Tokio . . 369 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
Popular Japanese Customs 382 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan . 401 



CHAPTER XXV. 
Amusements of the Japanese 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

Peculiarities of the Japanese 



PAOK. 

417 



434 



CHAPTER XXVII. 
The New-Year Festival in Japan . 455 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 
Japanese Women 473 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

Striking Features of Japanese Life 48^ 



CHAPTER XXX. 

Street Scenes in Yokohama . 

CHAPTER XXXI. 
The New Japan 



496 



506 



BOOK III. 

COREA AND THE WaR BETWEEN ChINA AND JaPAN. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 
X^ife and Travel in Corea. . . 



PAGE. 

513 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 
Outbreak of the War Between 
China and Japan 523 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 
The Battle of Ping- Yang . . . 



533 



CHAPTER XXXV. 
Japan's Great Naval Victory ... 549 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

PAGE. 

Stirring Incidents of the Campaign 562 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 
The Fall of Port Arthur . . 



581 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 
A Japanese Account of the War . 592 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 
The Capital of China . . . . 



599 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGE 

Service in a Chinese Temple 19 

Floating Chinese Village 23 

Cortege Accompanying a Mandarin .... 27 

Town and Harbor of Victoria, Hong Kong . . 33 

Sale of Prayers in a Chinese Temple .... 38 

A Traveller's Habitual Escort ....... 41 

Image of Buddha 43 

Tj-pes of Mongols 47 

A Chinese Bridge 50 

Battle with the Mongols 53 

The Giant Chang 59 

Street Scene in Pekin, China 65 

A Movable Cook-Shop 68 

Chinese Actors in, Fantastic Costumes ... 71 

Chinese Wedding Procession 77 

Sending Prayers to Heaven by Burning Them . 82 

Heads of Criminals Displayed for a Warning . 85 

Chinese Court of Justice 95 

Following the Dead to the Cemetery- .... 99 

Street in Nam-Dirah 103 

A Chinese Festival 106 

General View of the Fortifications of Pekin . Ill 

Chinese Mandarin and His Wife 117 

General Gordon 120 

Chinese Pedler 126 

The Famous Porcelain Tower 138 

Chinese Cobblers 142 

Chinese Restaurant 148 

Chinese Out for an Airing '. 152 

View of Tientsin, China 156 

A Chinese Band 159 

Opium Smokers 160 

The Temple of Heaven, Pekin 164 

Types of Chinese Women 168 

Americans Dining with Prince Kung, of China 171 

Chinese Mandarin 174 

A Chinese Funeral Procession 175 

Street Scene in Canton 178 

Chinese Modes of Torture 182 

Beheading a Chinese Criminal 186 

Fighting Quails 190 

Pagoda and Vases 193 

Itinerant Chinese Barber 196 

Embroidered Chinese Screen 202 

Chinese Bride Carried to the House of Her 

Future Husband 205 



PAGE 

The Bridal Feast 208 

Deformed Feet of Chinese Ladies 210 

The Great Wall of China 216 

Li-Hung Chang, Viceroy of China 220 

Pavilion Near the Mencius Temple .... 224 

A High-Caste Mandarin 231 

Merchants' Club at Shanghai 238 

Interior of a Chinese Theatre 244 

Actor of Cochin-China 248 

Porcelain Vases of Northern China .... 251 

The Temple of Five Hundred Chinese Gods . 256 

Temple at Nankin 260 

Interior of a Chinese Temple, Showing their 

Idols 266 

Religious Ceremony in a Joss-House .... 270 

A Chinese Pagoda 276 

A Chinese Curiosity Shop 277 

Chinese Baby in its Winter Cradle 278 

A Native Chinese Missionary 281 

A Mandarin Receiving a Visitor . . . . . 282 

A Mounted Military Bowman of Ancient Times 2S4 

A Chinese Merchant of Canton 285 

Courtyard of a Chinese Hostlerj* 286 

Chinese Students 287 

Emperor of Japan 291 

Empress of Japan 295 

View of Kioto, Japan 298 

, Great Bell of Kioto 300 

A Japanese School 301 

Japanese Ballet of Butterflies 307 

View of Yokohama .' 310 

Japanese Bonze 311 

Japanese at Tea 314 

Castle at Matsuyama, Japan 318 

Japanese Family 323 

A Japanese Residence 326 

The Court of the Mikado 330 

Yoritomo Invested with the Title of Shogun . 334 

A Japanese Temple 336 

Baptism of Buddha 342 

A Japanese Lady in Her Palanquin .... 350 

Japanese Custom of Freeing the Captives . . 359 

Japanese Lady 3G2 

The Hero Yashitzone 364 

A Japanese Couch 366 

Japanese Shop 371 

XV 



XVI 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



An Apothecar>''s Shop at Tokio 373 

A Japanese Noble Passing Through the Streets 

of Tokio 376 

Highly Figured Japanese Vase 377 

Ancient Japanese Warriors 386 

Japanese Bride and Attendants 390 

Interior of a Japanese Theatre 394 

Lion Dance — Street Pastime in Tokio .... 398 

Japanese Ferry-Boat of Ancient Times. . . . 403 

Japanese Festival — Street Procession .... 406 
Statues from the Temple of the Five Hundred 

Genii 410 

Figure from an Ancient Calendar 414 

Japanese Musicians 418 

Japanese Acrobats 422 

A Wrestling Circus 428 

A Group of Tea Pickers 437 

Statue from a Japanese Temple 440 

Interior of the Temple of Quannon .... 448 

A Street Scene in Tokio on New Year's Day . 459 



Japanese Barbers 464 

The Patron of Horsemanship 468 

Bridge Making Extraordinary in Japan . . . 470 

Ancient Japanese Archer ........ 471 

The Procession of the God of the Sea . . . 475 

A Japanese Wedding 478 

Japanese Vases 481 

Japanese Buddhist Priests 492 

A Japanese Pagoda 494 

Ornamented Japanese Bronze Vase .... 498 

Americans meeting the Emperor of Japan . . 502 

Ancient Warrior and Weapons 504 

Execution of a Criminal in Corea 519 

Regular Troops of the Chinese Army .... 527 

Map of Japan, Corea and Northeastern China . 565 

Types of Coreans 571 

The King of Corea and His Son 576 

Fishers of Fousans 584 

Corean Children 588 

A Corean Porter 594 



FULL=PAGE PHOTOTYPE ENGRAVINGS. 



Gate Scene, Chien Mun, Pekin, China. 

Prince Kung, China. 

Daibstu, Kamakura, Japan. 

Hon. John Russell Young. 

Temple of Daibstu, Kamakura, Japan. 

Commemorative Arch near Pekin, China. 

Bronze Lions at Wan-Shou-Shau Gate, Pekin, China. 

Stone Animals, near Pekin, China. 

Street Scene in Tokio, Japan. 

Hotel at Chang-Chia-Wan, Pekin, China. 

Street Scene, Tien-Tsin, China. 

Custom House, Shanghai, China. 

Grand Canal and Pagoda at Chenza, Canton, China. 

Ladies' Carriage, Japan. 

Garden Surrounding the Palace of the Mikado, 

Japan. 
Map of China, Corea and Japan. 



Pagoda at Shanghai, China. 

Soochow Creek, Shanghai, China. 

Snake or Rain Temple, Tien-Tsin, China, 

Japanese Palanquin. 

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Tsungli 

Yamen). 
Girls Picking Tea. 
A Japanese Tea Party. 
The Great Wall of China. 
Group of Japanese Girls. 
A Japanese Doctor and His Patient. 
Group of Natives, Japan. 
Japanese Dancers. 
Temple of Heaven, Pekin, China. 
Examination Hall, Pekin, China. 
Confucian Temple, Forbidden City, Pekin, China. 
Grand Hotel, Yokohama, Japan. 



BOOK I. 

Cl)ir)a : F roiT) bl)e Earliesh i in^es 

io br)e Preser)b Day. 



CHAPTER I. 
EARLY HI5T0RY OF THE -CELESTIAL EMPIRE." 



ALL Asia is astir. Old nations that 
have slept the sleep of ages are 
waking to modem ideas. For 
centuries China was almost a 
world by itself; now it forms a part of the 
galaxy of eastern empires and is a centre 
of interest to both Europe and America. 

No nation in the world has been so rigid 
and unchangeable as China, and none has 
preser\'ed with such tenacity the laws, cus- 
toms and national peculiarities which existed 
long before the Christian era. A most re- 
markable people are the Chinese, comprising 
nearly one-third of the human race, scattered 
over a vast realm, maintaining little inter- 
course with other countries, and lacking in 
that spirit of enterprise which, for the last 
few years, has distinguished the Japanese. 
But modern civilization advances even in 
Asia, and China is learning that she cannot 
remain the China of three or four thousand 
years ago. The ships of many nations touch 
at her ports ; commerce seeks entrance at her 
gates ; her most intelligent people are asking 
questions, and already the darkness is illu- 
mined with the light of a new and better era. 
2 



The Chinese are unquestionably the oldest 
nation in the world, and their history goes 
back to a period to which no prudent his- 
torian will attempt to give a precise date. 
They speak the language and observe the 
same social and political customs that they 
did several thousand years ago, and they are 
the only living representatives to-day of a 
people and government which were contem- 
porary with the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and 
the ancient Jews. 

Same To-Day as in Early Times. 

So far as our knowledge enables us to 
speak, the Chinese of the present age are in 
all essential points identical with those of the 
time of Confucius, and there is no reason to 
doubt that before his time the Chinese 
national character had been thoroughly 
formed in its present mould. The limits of 
the Empire have varied from time to time 
under circumstances of triumph or disunion, 
but the Middle Kingdom, or China proper, 
of the eighteen provinces has always pos- 
sessed more or less of its existing proportions. 

Another striking and peculiar feature 

17 



18 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



about China is the small amount of influence 
that the rest of the world has exercised 
upon it. In fact it is only during the present 
century that that influence can be said to 
have existed at all. Up to that point China 
had pursued a course of her own, carrying 
on her own struggles within a definite limit, 
and completely indifferent to, and ignorant 
of, the ceaseless competition and contests of 
mankind outside her orbit, which make up 
the history of the rest of the old world. 

The long struggles for supremacy in 
Western Asia between Assyrian, Babylonian, 
and Persian, the triumphs of the Greek, fol- 
lowed by the absorption of what remained 
of the Macedonian conquests in the Empire 
of Rome, even the appearance of Islam and 
the Mahomedan conquerors, who changed 
the face of Southern Asia from the Ganges 
to the Levant, and long threatened to over- 
run Europe, had no significance for the 
people of China, and reacted as little on 
their destiny as if they had happened in 
another planet. 

A Curious History. 
All that pertains to China has a peculiar 
interest to the reader. He is studying the 
history of one of the most remarkable na- 
tions that ever existed. At every step he 
meets with surprises, and eagerly follows the 
record of events, many of them startling and 
unparalleled, although they transpired " when 
time was young." As a curiosity in human 
existence, the earlier history of this country 
may justly receive careful notice. In these 
ancient records we see the beginning and 
progress of a people whose numbers, laws, 
customs, conservatism and strange ideas are 
the wonder of the modern world. We learn 
the infancy of a people who have grown and 
multiplied to their present vast proportions 
and power. 



Even though the details are noi recited the 
recollection of the antiquity of China's insti- 
tutions must be ever present with the stu- 
dent, as affording an indispensable clue to 
the character of the Chinese people and the 
composition of their government. 

The first Chinese are supposed to have 
been a nomad tribe in the province of Shensi 
which lies in the northwest of China, and 
among them at last appeared a ruler, Fohi, 
whose name at least has been preserved. 
His deeds and his person are mythical, bu?: 
he is credited with having given his country 
its first regular government. 

The First Emperor. 

One of his successors was Hwangti (which 
means Heavenly Emperor), who was the first 
to employ the imperial style of Emperor, the 
earlier rulers having been content with the 
inferior title of Wang, or prince. He adopted 
the convenient decimal division in his admin- 
istration as well as his coinage. His domin- 
ions were divided into ten provinces, each of 
these into ten departments, these again into 
ten districts, each of which held ten towns. 
He regulated the calendar, originating the 
Chinese cycle of sixty years, and he encour- 
aged commerce. He seems to have been a 
wise ruler and to have been the first of the 
great Emperors. His grandson, who was 
also Emperor, continued his good work and 
earned the reputation of being " the restorer 
or even founder of true astronomy." 

But the most famous of Hwangti's succes- 
sors was his great grandson Yao, who is 
still one of the most revered of all Chinese 
rulers. He was "diligent, enlightened, 
polished, and prudent," and if his words 
reflected his actions he must have been most 
solicitous of the welfare of his people. He 
is specially remarkable for his anxiety to dis- 
cover the best man to succeed him in the 



20 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



government, and d-iring the last twenty-eight 
years of his reign he associated the minister 
Chun with him for that purpose. 

On his death he left the crown to him, and 
Chun, after some hesitation, accepted the 
charge, but he in turn hastened to secure the 
co-operation of another minister named Yu 
in the work of administration, just as he had 
been associated with Yao, The period cov- 
ered by the rule of this triumvirate is con- 
sidered one of the most brilliant and perfect 
in Chinese history, and it bears a resem- 
blance to the age of the Antonines. 

High Idea of Princes. 

These rulers seem to have passed their 
leisure from practical work in framing moral 
axioms, and in carrying out a model scheme 
of government based on the purest ethics. 
They considered that " a prince entrusted 
with the charge of a State has a heavy task. 
The happiness of his subjects absolutely 
depends upon him. To provide for every- 
thing is his duty ; his ministers are only put 
in office to assist him," and also that "a 
prince who wishes to fulfill his obligations, 
and to long preserve his people in the ways 
of peace, ought to watch without ceasing that 
the laws are observed with exactitude." 
They were staunch upholders of temperance, 
and they banished the unlucky discoverer of 
the fact that an intoxicating drink could be 
obtained from rice. 

They also held fast to the theory that all 
government must be based on the popular 
will. In fact the reigns of Yao, Chun, and 
Yu are the ideal period of Chinese history 
when all questions were decided by moral 
right and justice, and even now Chinese 
philosophers are said to test their maxims of 
morality by the degree of agreement they 
may have with the conduct of those rulers. 

With them passed away the practice of 



letting the most capable and experienced 
minister rule the State. Such an impartial 
and reasonable mode of selecting the head 
of a community can never be perpetuated. 
The rulers themselves may see its advan- 
tages and may endeavor as honestly as these 
three Chinese princes to carry out the ar- 
rangement, but the day must come when the 
family of the able ruler will assert its rights 
to the succession, and take advantage of its 
opportunities from its close connection with 
the government to carry out its ends. 

The Emperor Yu, true to the practice of 
his predecessors, nominated the President of 
the Council as his successor, but his son Tiki 
seized the throne, and became the founder of 
the first Chinese dynasty which was called 
the Hia from the name of the province first 
ruled by his father. This event is supposed 
to have taken place in the year 2197 B. C. 
and the Hia dynasty, of which there were 
seventeen Emperors, ruled down to the year 
1776 B. C. These Hia princes present no 
features of interest, and the last of them, 
named Kia, was deposed by one of his prin- 
cipal nobles, Ching Tang, Prince of Chang. 

The Chang Rulers. 
This prince was the founder of the second 
dynasty, known as Chang, which held pos- 
session of the throne for 654 years, or down 
to 1 1 22 B. C. With the exception of the 
founder, who seems to have been an able 
man, this dynasty of twenty -eight Emperors 
did nothing very noteworthy. The public 
morality deteriorated very much under this 
family, and it is said that when one of the 
Emperors wanted an honest man as minister 
he could only find one in the person of a 
common laborer. At last, in the I2th cen- 
tury before our era, the enormities of the 
Chang rulers reached a climax in the person 
of Chousin, who was deposed by a popular 



EARLY HISTORY. 



21 



rising headed by Wou Wang, Prince of 
Chow. 

This successful soldier, whose name signi- 
fies the Warrior King, founded the third Chi- 
nese dynasty of Chow, which governed the 
Empire for the long space of 867 years down 
to 255 B. C. During that protracted period 
there were necessarily good and bad Empe- 
rors, and the Chow dynasty was rendered 
specially illustrious by the appearance of the 
great social and religious reformers, Laoutse, 
Confucius, and Mencius during the existence 
of its power. The founder of the dynasty 
instituted the necessary'' reforms to prove that 
he was a national benefactor, and one of his 
successors, known as the Magnificent King, 
extended the authority' of his family over 
some of the States of Turkestan. 

Confucius Appears. 

But on the whole the rulers of the Chow 
dynasty were not particularly distinguished, 
and one of them in the eighth century B. C. 
was weak enough to resign a portion of his 
sovereign rights to a powerful vassal, Siang- 
kong the Prince of Tsin, in consideration of 
his undertaking the defence of the frontier 
against the Tartars. At this period the 
authority of the central government passed 
under a cloud. The Emperor's perogative 
became the shadow of a name, and the last 
three centuries of the rule of this family 
would not call for notice but for the genius 
of Laoutse and Confucius, who were both 
great moral teachers and religious reformers. 

Laoutse, the founder of Taouism, was the 
first in point of time, and in some respects he 
was the greatest of these reformers. He 
found his countrymen sunk in a low state of 
moral indifference and religious infidelity 
Avhich corresponded with the corruption of 
the times and the disunion in the kingdom, 
lie at once set himself to work with energy 



and devotion to repair the evils of his day, 
and to raise before his countrymen a higher 
ideal of dut)\ He has been called the Chi- 
nese Pythagoras, very learned yet obscure, 
and the mysterious Taouism which he founded 
holds the smallest or the least assignable part 
in what passes for the religion of the Chinese. 
As a philosopher and minister Laoutse will 
always attract attention and excite specula- 
tion, but as a practical reformer and politician 
he was far surpassed by his younger and less 
theoretical contemporary Confucius. 

Influence of the Great Teacher. 

Confucius was an official in the service of 
one of the great princes who divided the 
governing power of China among themselves 
during the whole of the seventh centurj' 
before our era, which beheld the appearance 
of both of these religious teachers and lead- 
ers. He was a trained administrator with 
long experience when he urged upon his 
prince the necessity of reform, and advocated 
a policy of union throughout the States. 
His exhortations were in vain, and so far ill- 
timed that he was obliged to resign the 
service of one prince after another. In his 
day the authority of the Chow Emperor had 
been reduced to the lowest point. Each prince 
was unto himself the supreme authorit)-. 

Yet one cardinal point of the policy of 
Confucius was submission to the Emperor, 
as implicit obedience to the head of the State 
throughout the country as was paid to the 
father of ever}' Chinese household. Although 
he failed to find a prince after his own heart, 
his example and precepts were not thrown 
away, for in a later generation his reforms 
were executed, and down to the present day 
the best points in Chinese government are 
based on his recommendations. If "no in- 
telligent monarch arose " in his time, the 
greatest Emperors have since sought to con- 



22 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



form with his usages and to rule after the 
ideal of the great philosopher. His name 
and his teachings were perpetuated by a band 
of devoted disciples, and the book which con- 
tained the moral and philosophical axioms of 
Confucius passed into the classic literature of 
the country and stood -in the place of a Bible 
for the Chinese. 

The list of the great Chinese reformers is 
completed by the name of Mencius, who, 
coming two centuries later, carried on with 
better opportunities the reforming work of 
Confucius, and left behind him in his Sheking 
the most popular book of Chinese poetry and 
a crowning tribute to the great master. 

The \Varlike Period. 

From teachers we must again pass to the 
chronicle of kings, although few of the later 
Chow Emperors deserve their names to be 
rescued from oblivion. One Emperor suf- 
fered a severe defeat while attempting to 
establish his authority over the troublesome 
tribes beyond the frontier ; of another it was 
written that " his good qualities merited a 
happier day," and the general character of 
the age may be inferred from its being desig- 
nated by the native chroniclers " The warlike 
period." 

At last, after what seemed an interminable 
old age, marked by weakness and vice, the 
Chow dynasty came to an end in the person 
of Nan Wang, who, although he reigned for 
nearly sixty years, was deposed in ignomin- 
ious fashion by one of his great vassals, and 
reduced to a humble position. His con- 
queror became the founder of the fourth 
Chinese dynasty. 

During the period of internal strife which 
marked the last four centuries of the Chow 
dynasty, one family had steadily waxed 
stronger and stronger among the princes of 
China. The princes of Tsin, by a combina- 



tion of prudence and daring, gradually made 
themselves supreme among their fellows. It 
was said of one of them that " like a wolf or a 
tiger he wished to draw all the other princes 
into his claws, so that he might devour 
them." Several of the later Tsin princes, 
and particularly one named Chow Siang 
Wang, showed great capacity, and carried 
out a systematic policy for their own aggran- 
disement. 

When Nan Wang was approaching the end 
of his career, the Tsin princes had obtained 
everything of the supreme power short of the 
name and the right to wear the Imperial yel- 
low robes. Ching Wang, or to give him his 
later name as Emperor, Tsin Chi Hwangti, 
was the reputed great-grandson of Chow 
Siang Wang, and under him the fame and 
power of the Tsins reached their culminating^ 
point. This prince also proved himself one 
of the greatest rulers who ever sat on the 
Dragon Throne of China. 

A Soldier and Statesman. 

The country had been so long distracted 
by internal strife, and the authority of the 
Emperor had been reduced to such a shadow, 
that peace was welcome under any ruler, and 
the hope was indulged that the Tsin princes, 
who had succeeded in making themselves 
the most powerful feudatories of the Empire, 
might be able to restore to the central gov- 
ernment something of its ancient power and 
splendor. 

Nor was the expectation unreasonable or 
ungratified. The Tsins had fairly earned by 
their ability the confidence of the Chinese 
nation, and their principal representative 
showed no diminution of energy on attain- 
ing the throne, and exhibited in a higher 
post, and on a wider field, the martial and 
statesman-like qualities his ancestors had dis- 
played when building up the fabric of their 




liW'PIPSff i'l'tiPI'ipiii ' 1 1 




CO 



24 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



power as princes of the Empire. Their 
supremacy was not acquiesced in by the 
other great feudatories without a struggle, 
and more than one campaign was fought 
before all rivals were removed from their 
path, and their authority passed unchallenged 
as occupants of the Imperial office. 

Ruler at the Age of Thirteen. 

It was in the middle of this final struggle, 
and when the result might still be held 
doubtful, that Tsin Chi Hwangti began his 
eventful reign. When he began to rule he 
was only thirteen years of age, but he quickly 
showed that he possessed the instinct of a 
statesman, and the courage of a born com- 
mander of armies. On the one hand he 
sowed dissension between the most formid- 
able of his opponents, and brought about by 
a stratagem the disgrace of the ablest general 
in their service, and on the other he increased 
his army in numbers and efficiency, until it 
became unquestionably the most formidable 
fighting force in China. 

While he endeavored thus to attain inter- 
nal peace, he was also studious in providing 
for the general security of the Empire, and 
with this object he began the construction of 
a fortified wall across the northern frontier to 
serve as a defence against the troublesome 
Hiongnou tribes, who are identified with the 
Huns of Attila. This Avail, which he began 
in the first years of his reign, was finished 
before his death, and stilt exists as the Great 
Wall of China, which has been considered 
one of the wonders of the world. 

He was careful in his many wars with the 
tribes of Mongolia not to allow himself to be 
drawn far from his own border, and at the 
close of a campaign he always withdrew his 
troops behind the Great Wall. Towards 
Central Asia he was more enterprising, and 
one of his best generals, Moungtien, crossed 



what is now the Gobi Desert, and made 
Hami the frontier fortress of the Empire. 

In his civil administration Hwangti was 
aided by the minister Lisseh, who seems to 
have been a man of rare ability, and to have 
entered heartily into all his master's schemes 
for uniting the Empire. While Hwangti sat 
on the throne with a naked sword in his 
hand, as the emblem of his authority, dis- 
pensing justice, arranging the details of his 
many campaigns, and superintending the 
innumerable affairs of his government, his 
minister was equally active in reorganizing 
the administration and in supporting his 
sovereign in his bitter struggle with the 
literary classes who advocated archaic prin- 
ciples, and whose animosity to the ruler 
was inflamed by the contempt, not unmixed 
with ferocity, with which he treated them. 
The Empire was divided into thirty-six pro- 
vinces, and he impressed upon the governors 
the importance of improving communications 
within their jurisdiction. 

New Roads in All Directions. 

Not content with this general precept, he 
issued a special decree ordering that " roads 
shall be made in all directions throughout 
the Empire," and the origin of the main 
routes in China may be found with as much 
certainty in his reign as that of the roads of 
Europe in the days of Imperial Rome. When 
advised to assign some portion of his power 
to his relatives and high officials in the pro- 
vinces he refused to repeat the blunders of 
his predecessors, and laid down the per- 
manent truth that " good government is 
impossible under a multiplicity of masters." 
He centralized the power in his own hands, 
and he drew up an organization for the civil 
service of the State which virtually exists at 
the present day. The two salient features in 
that organization are the indisputable supre- 




I— 1 
a 

o 

i— I 

3 



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— H 

o 

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o 

CO 




tn 

o 



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Eh 

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O 
CO 

Eh 



EARLY HISTORY. 



25 



macy of the Emperor and the non-employ- 
ment of the officials in their native pro\ances, 
and the experience of two thousand years has 
proved their practical value. 

When he conquered his internal enemies 
he resolved to complete the pacification of 
his country by effecting a general disarma- 
ment, and he ordered that all weapons should 
be sent in to his capital at Hienyang. This 
*' skilful disarming of the provinces added 
daily to the wealth and prosperit}^ of the 
capital," which he proceeded to embellish. 
He built one palace within the walls, and 
the Hall of Audience was ornamented with 
twelve statues, each of which weighed t\velve 
thousand pounds. But his principal resi- 
dence, named the Palace of Delight, was 
without the walls, and there he laid out 
magnificent gardens, and added building to 
building. In one of the courts of this latter 
palace, it is said he could have drawn up 
10,000 soldiers. 

A Standing Army. 

This eye to military acquirements in even 
the building of his residence, showed the 
tem.per of his mind, and, in his efforts to 
form a regular army, he had recourse to ' 
" those classes in the community who were j 
without any fixed profession, and who were \ 
possessed of exceptional physical strength." ; 
He was thus the earliest possessor in China ; 
of what might be called a regular standing 
army. With this force he succeeded in estab- 
lishing his power on a firm basis, and he may j 
have hoped also to ensure permanence for his 
dynasty ; but, alas ! for the fallacy of human 
expectations, the structure he erected fell with I 
him. 

Great as an administrator, and successful 
as a soldier, Hwangti was unfortunate in one 
struggle that he evoked. At an early period 
of his career, when success seemed uncertain. 



he found that his bitterest opponents were 
men of letters, and that the literary class as 
a body was hostile to his interests and per- 
son. Instead of ignoring this opposition or 
seeking to overcome it by the same agency, 
Hwangti expressed his hatred and contempt, 
not only of the literary class, but of literature 
itself, and resorted to extreme measures of 
coercion. The writers took up the gage of 
battle thrown down by the Emperor, and 
Hwangti became the object of the wit and 
abuse of every one who could use a pencil. 
His birth was aspersed. It was said that he 
was not a Tsin at all, that his origin was of 
the humblest, and that he was a substituted 
child foisted on the last of the Tsin princes. 

Grand Council Summoned. 

These personal attacks were accompanied 
by unfavorable criticism of all his measures, 
and by censure where he felt that he deserved 
praise. It would have been more prudent 
if he had shown greater indifference and 
patience, for although he had the satisfaction 
of triumphing by brute force over those who 
jeered at him, the triumph was accomplished 
by an act of Vandalism, with which his name 
will be quite as closely associated in history 
as any of the wise measures or great works 
that he carried out. His vanquished oppo- 
nents left behind them a legacy of hostility 
and revenge of the whole literarj' class of 
China, which has found expression in all the 
national histories. 

The struggle, which had been in progress 
for some years, reached its culminating point 
in the year 2 1 3 B, C, when a Grand Council 
of the Empire was summoned at Hienyang. 
At this council were present not only the 
Emperor's chief military' and ci\n\ officers 
from the different provinces, but also the 
large literary class, composed of aspirants to 
office and the members of the academies and 



26 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



college of Censors. The opposing forces in 
China were thus drawn up face to face, and 
it would have been surprising if a collision 
had not occurred. On the one side were the 
supporters of the man who had made China 
again an Empire, believers in his person and 
sharers in his glory; on the other were those 
who had no admiration for this ruler, who 
detested his works, proclaimed his successes 
dangerous innovations, and questioned his 
right to bear the royal name. 

"A Vile Flatterer." 

The purpose of the Emperor may be 
detected when he called upon speakers in 
this assembly of his friends and foes to 
express their opinions of his administration, 
and when a member of his household rose to 
extol his work and to declare that he had 
"surpassed the very greatest of his predeces- 
sors." This courtier-like declaration, which 
would have been excusable even if it had had 
a less basis of truth than it unquestionably 
possessed in the case of Hwangti, was 
received with murmurs and marks of dissent 
by the literary class. One of them rose and 
denounced the speaker as "a vile flatterer," 
and proceeded to expatiate on the superior 
merit of several of the earlier rulers. Not 
content with this unseasonable eulogy, he 
advocated the restoration of the Empire to 
its old form of principalities, and the conse- 
quent undoing of all that Hwangti had ac- 
complished. 

Hwangti interrupted this speaker and called 
upon his favorite minister Lisseh to reply to 
him and explain his policy. Lisseh began by 
stating what has often been said since, and in 
other countries, that " men of letters are, as a 
rule, very little acquainted with what con- 
cerns the government of a country, not that 
government of pure speculation which is 
nothing more than a phantom, vanishing the 



nearer we approached to it, but the practical 
government which consists in keeping men 
within the sphere of their proper duties." 
He then proceeded to denounce the literary 
class as being hostile to the State, and to 
recommend the destructiou of their works, 
declaring that " now is the time or never to 
close the mouths of these secret enemies and 
to place a curb on their audacity." 

The Emperor at once from his throne 
ratified the policy and ordered that no time 
should be lost in executing the necessary 
measures. All books were proscribed, and 
orders were issued to burn every work 
except those relating to medicine, agriculture, 
and such science as then existed. The des- 
truction of the national literature was carried 
out with terrible completeness, and such 
works as were preserved are not free from 
the suspicion of being garbled or incomplete 
versions of their original text. The burning 
of the books was accompanied by the execu- 
tion of five hundred of the literati, and by the 
banishment of many thousands. 

Inexcusable Tyranny. 

By this sweeping measure, to which no 
parallel is to be found in the history of other 
countries, Hwangti silenced during the last 
few years of his hfe the criticisms of his chief 
enemies, but in revenge his memory has had 
to bear for two thousand years the sully of 
an inexcusable act of tryanny and narrow- 
mindedness. The price will be pronounced 
too heavy for what was a momentary gratifi- 
cation. 

The reign of Hwangti was not prolonged 
many years after the burning of the books. 
In 2IO B. C. he was seized with a serious 
illness, to which he succumbed, partly 
because he took no precautions, and partly, 
no doubt, through the incompetence of his 
physicians. His funeral was magnificent. 



28 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



and, like the Huns, his grave was dug in the 
bed of a river, and with him were buried his 
wives and his treasure. 

This great ruler left behind him an example 
of vigor such as is seldom found in the list of 
Chinese kings of effete physique and apathetic 
life. He is the only Chinese Emperor of 
whom it is said that his favorite exercise was 
walking, and his vigor was apparent in every 
department of State. On one occasion when 
he placed a large army of, it is said, 6oo,ooo 
men at the disposal of one of his generals, 
the commander expressed some fear as to 
how this huge force was to be fed. Hwangti 
at once replied, " Leave it to me. I will 
provide for everything. There shall be want 
rather in my palace than in your canip." 

A Famous Ruler. 

He does not seem to have been a great 
general himself, but he knew how to select 
the best commanders, and he was also so 
quick in discovering the merits of the 
generals opposed to him, that some of his most 
notable victories were obtained by his skill in 
detaching them from their service or by ruin- 
ing their reputation by some intrigue more 
astute than honorable. Yet, all deductions 
made, Tsin Chi Hwangti stands forth as a 
great ruler and remarkable man. 

The Tsin dynasty only survived its founder 
a few years. Hwangti's son Eulchi became 
Emperor, but he reigned no more than three 
years. He was foolish enough to get rid of 
the general Moungtien, who might have been 
the buttress of his throne; and the minister 
Lisseh was poisoned, either with or without 
his connivance. Eulchi himself shared the 
same fate, and his successor, Ing Wang, 
reigned only six weeks, committing suicide 
after losing a battle, and with him the Tsin 
dynasty came to an end. Its chief, nay its 
only claim to distinction, arises from its hav- i 



ing produced the great ruler Hwangti, and 
its destiny was Napoleonic in its brilliance 
and evanescence. 

Looking back at the long period which 
connects the mythical age with what may be 
considered the distinctly historical epoch ot 
the Tsins, we find that by the close of 
the third century before the Christian era 
China possessed settled institutions, the most 
remarkable portion of its still existing liter- 
ature, and mighty rulers. It is hardly open 
to doubt that the Chinese annalist finds in 
these remote ages as much interest and 
instruction as we should in the record of 
more recent times, and proof of this may be 
discovered in the fact that the history of the 
first four dynasties, which we must dismiss in 
these few pages, occupies as much space in 
the national history as the chronicle of ev^ents 
from Tsin Chi Hwangti to the end of the 
Ming dynasty in 1644, at which date the 
official history of China stops, because the 
history of the Manchu dynasty, which has 
occupied the throne ever since, will only be 
given to the world after it has ceased to rule. 

Folly and Incompetence. 
We must not be surprised at this discur- 
siveness, because the teachings of human 
experience are as clearly marked in those 
early times as they have been since, and 
Chinese historians aim as much at establish- 
ing moral and philosophical truths as at giv- 
ing a complete record of events. The conse- 
quences of human folly and incompetence 
are as patent and conspicuous in those days 
as they are now. The ruling power is lost 
by one family and transferred to another 
because the prince neglects his business, 
gives himself over to the indulgence of plea- 
sure, or fails to see the signs of the times. 
Cowardice and corruption receive their due 
and inevitable punishment. The founders of 



EARLY HISTORY. 



29 



the dynasties are all brave and successful 
warriors, who are superior to the cant of a 
hj-per-civilized state of society, which covers 
declining vigor and marks the first phase of 
effeteness, and who see that as long as there 
are human passions they may be moulded by 
genius to make the many serve the few and 
to build up an autocracy. 

Nor are the lessons to be learnt from his- 
tory applicable only to individuals. The 
faults of an Emperor are felt in every house- 
hold of the community, and injure the State. 
Indifference and obtuseness at the capital 
entailed weakness on the frontier and in the 
provincial capitals. The barbarians 



srrew 



defiant and aggressive, and defeated the 
Imperial forces. The provincial governors 
asserted their independence, and founded 
ruling families. The Empire became atten- 
uated by external attack and internal divi- 
sion. But, to use the phrase of the Chinese 
historians, "after long abiding disunion, 
union revived." The strong and capable 
man always appears in one form or another, 
and the Chinese people, impressed with a 
belief in both the divine mission of their 
Emperor and also in the value of union, wel- 
come with acclaim the advent of the prince 
who will restore their favorite and ideal 
system of one-man government. 




CHAPTKR II. 
THE STORY OF THE HAN RULERS. 



AS the Chinese are still proud to call 
themselves the sons of Han it will 
be understood that the period cov- 
ered by the Han rulers must be an 
important epoch in their history, and in more 
than one respect they were the first national 
dynasty. When the successors of Tsin Chi 
Hwangti proved unable to keep the throne, 
the victorious general who profited by their 
discomfiture was named Liu Pang. He 
had been a trusted official of the Emperor 
Hwangti, but on finding that his descendants 
could not bear the burden of government, 
he resolved to take his own measures, and 
he lost no time in collecting troops and in 
making a bid for popularity by endeavoring 
to save all the books that had not been 
burned. This was in the year 202 B. C. 

His career bears some resemblance to 
that of Macbeth, for a soothsayer meeting 
him on the road predicted, " by the expres- 
sion of his features, that he was destined to 
become Emperor. " He began his struggle 
for the throne by defeating another general 
named Pawang, who was also disposed to 
make a bid for supreme power. After this 
success Liu Pang was proclaimed Emperor 
as Kao Hwangti, meaning Lofty and August 
Emperor, .which has been shortened into 
Kaotsou. He named his dynasty the Han, 
after the small state in which he was born. 

Kaotsou began his reign by a public pro- 
clamation in favor of peace, and deploring 
the evils which follow in the train of war. He 
called upon his subjects to aid his efforts for 
their welfare by assisting in the execution of 
30 



many works of public utility, among which 
roads and bridges occupied the foremost 
place. He removed his capital from Loyang 
in Honan to Singanfoo in Shensi, and as 
Singan was difficult of access in those days, 
he constructed a great high road from the 
centre of China to this somewhat remote 
spot on the western frontier. 

The First Suspension Bridge. 

This road still exists, and has been 
described by several travellers in our time. 
It was constructed by the labor of 100,000 
men through the most difficult country, 
crossing great mountain chains and broad 
rivers. The Chinese engineers employed on 
the making of this road, which has excited 
the admiration of all who have traversed it, 
first discovered and carried into execution 
the suspension bridge, which in other coun- 
tries is quite a modern invention. One of 
these "flying bridges," as the Chinese called 
them, is i 50 yards across a valley 500 feet 
below, and is still in use. 

At regular intervals along this road Kaot- 
sou constructed rest-houses for travellers, 
and postal-stations for his couriers. No 
Chinese ruler has done anything more use- 
ful or remarkable than this admirable road 
from Loyang to Singanfoo. He embellished 
his new capital with many fine buildings, 
among which was a large palace, the grand- 
eur of which was intended to correspond 
with the extent of his power. 

The reign of Kaotsou was, however, far 
from being one of unchequercd prosperity. 



THE STORY OF THE HAN RULERS. 



31 



Among his own subjects his popularity was 
great because he promoted commerce and 
improved the administration of justice. He 
also encouraged literature, and was the first 
ruler to recognize the claims of Confucius, 
at whose tomb he performed an elaborate 
ceremony. He thus acquired a reputation 
which induced the King of Nanhai — a state 
composed of the southern provinces of China 
wnth its capital at or near the modern Canton 
— to tender his allegiance. But he was 
destined to receive many slights and injuries 
at the hands of a foreign enemy who at this 
time began a course of active aggression that 
entailed serious consequences for both China 
and Europe. 

A Desert Chieftain. 

Reference has been made to the Hiongnou 
or Hun tribes, against whom Tsin Hwangti 
built the Great Wall. In the interval be- 
tween the death of that ruler and the con- 
solidation of the power of Kaotsou, a 
remarkable chief named Meha, or Meta, had 
established his supremacy among the dis- 
united clans of the Mongolian Desert, and 
had succeeded in combining for purposes of 
war the whole fighting force of what had 
been a disjointed and barbarous confederacy. 
The Chinese rulers had succeeded in keeping 
back this threatening torrent from o\erflow- 
ing the fertile plains of tlieir countr}-, as much 
by sowing dissension among these clans and 
by bribing one chief to fight another, as by 
superior arms. 

But Meha's success rendered this system 
of defence no longer possible, and the desert 
chieftain, realizing the opportunity of spoil 
and conquest, determined to make his posi- 
tion secure by invading China. If the enter- 
prise had failed, there would have been an 
end to the power of Meha, but his rapid suc- 
cess convinced the Huns that their proper 



and most profitable policy was to carry on 
implacable war with their weak and wealthy 
neighbors. Meha's success was so great 
that in a single campaign he recovered all 
the districts taken from the Tartars by the 
general Moungtien. He turned the western 
angle of the Great Wall, and brought down 
his frontier to the river Hoangho. His light 
cavalry raided past the Chinese capital into 
the province of Szchuen, and returned laden 
with the spoil of countless cities. 

Rescued by a Maiden. 

These successes were crowned by a signal 
victory over the Emperor in person. Kaot- 
sou was draw^n into an ambuscade in which 
his troops had no chance with their more 
active adversaries, and to save himself from 
capture, Kaotsou had no alternative but to 
take refuge in the town of Pingching, where 
he was closely beleaguered. It was impos- 
sible to defend the town for any length of 
time, and the capture of Kaotsou seemed in- 
evitable, when recourse was had to a strata- 
gem. The most beautiful Chinese maiden 
was sent as a present to propitiate the con- 
queror, and Meha, either mollified by the 
compliment, or deeming that nothing was to 
be gained by driving the Chinese to desper- 
ation, acquiesced in a convention which^ 
while it sealed the ignominious defeat of the 
Chinese, rescued their sovereign from his 
predicament. 

This disaster, and his narrow personal es- 
cape, seem to have unnerved Kaotsou, for 
when the Huns resumed their iitcursions in 
the very year following the Pingching con- 
vention, he took no steps to oppose them, 
and contented himself with denouncing in 
his palace Meha as " a wicked and faithless 
man, who had risen to power by the murder 
of his father, and one with whom oaths and 
treaties carried no weig:ht." Notwithstand- 



32 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



ing this opinion, Kaotsou proceeded to nego- 
tiate with Meha as an equal, and gave this 
barbarian prince his own daughter in mar- 
riage as the price of his abstaining from 
further attacks on the Empire. Never, 
wrote a historian, " was so great a shame 
inflicted on the Middle Kingdom, which then 
lost its dignity and honor." 

Meha observed this peace during the life 
of Kaotsou, who found that his reputation 
was much diminished by his coming to terms 
with his uncivilized opponent, but although 
several of his generals rebelled, until it was 
said that "the very name of revolt inspired 
Kaotsou with apprehension," he succeeded 
in overcoming them all without serious diffi- 
culty. His troubles probably shortened 
his life, for he died when he was only fifty- 
three, leaving the crown to his son Hoeiti, 
and injunctions to his widow, Liuchi, as to 
the conduct of the administration. 

A "Wicked Empress. 

The brief reign of Hoeiti is only remark- 
able for the rigor and terrible acts of his 
mother, the Empress Liuchi, who is the first 
woman mentioned in Chinese history as 
taking a supreme part in public affairs. 
Another of Kaotsou's widows aspired to the 
throne for her son, and the chief direction 
for herself. Liuchi nipped their plotting in 
the bud by poisoning both of them. She 
marked out those who differed from her, or 
who resented her taking the most prominent 
part in public ceremonies, as her enemies, to 
be removed from her path by any means. 
At a banquet she endeavored to poison one 
of the greatest princes of the Empire, but 
her plot was detected and baffled by her son. 
It is, perhaps, not surprising that Hoeiti did 
not live long after this episode, and then 
Liuchi ruled in her own name, and without 
filling up the vacancy on the throne, until 



the public dissatisfaction warned her that she 
was going too far. 

She then adopted a supposititious child as 
her grandson, and governed as regent in his 
name. The mother of this youth seems to 
have made inconvenient demands on the 
Empress, who promptly put her out of the 
way, and when the son showed a disposition 
to resent this action, she caused him to be 
poisoned. She again ruled without a puppet 
Emperor, hoping to retain power by placing 
her relatives in the principal offices ; but the 
dissatisfaction had now reached an acute 
point, and threatened to destroy her. It may 
be doubted whether she would have sur- 
mounted these difficulties and dangers, when 
death suddenly cut short her adventurous 
career. 

The popular legend is that this Chinese 
Lucrezia Borgia died of fright at seeing the 
apparitions of her many victims, and there 
can be no doubt that her crimes did not con- 
duce to make woman government more 
popular in China. 

Better Government. 

It says much for the excellence of 
Kaotsou's work, and for the hold the Han 
family had obtained on the Chinese people, 
that when it became necessary to select an 
Emperor after the death of Liuchi the choice 
should have fallen unanimously on the Prince 
of Tai, who was the illegitimate son of 
Kaotsou. On mounting the throne, he took 
the name of Wenti. He began his reign by 
remitting taxes and by appointing able and 
honest governors and judges. He ordered 
that all old men should be provided with 
corn, meat, and wine, besides silk and cotton 
for their garments. At the suggestion of 
his ministers, who were alive to the dangers 
of a disputed succession, he proclaimed his 
eldest son heir to the throne. He purified 




33 



34 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



the administration of justice by declaring 
that prince and peasant must be equally sub- 
ject to the law; he abolished the too 
common punishment of mutilation, and had 
the satisfaction of seeing crime reduced to 
such low proportions in the Empire that the 
jails contained only 400 prisoners. 

Wenti was a strong advocate of peace, 
which was, indeed, necessary to China, as it 
had not recovered from the effects of the 
last Hun invasion. He succeeded by diplo- 
macy in inducing the Prince at Canton, who 
had shown a disposition to assert his inde- 
pendence, to recognize his authority, and 
thus averted a civil war. 

Purchasing Peace. 

In his relations with the Huns, among 
whom the authority of Meha had passed to 
his son Lao Chang, he strove to preserve the 
peace, giving that chief one of his daughters 
in marriage, and showing moderation in face 
of much provocation. When war was forced 
upon him by their raids he did everything 
he could to mitigate its terrors, but the ill 
success of his troops in their encounters 
with the Tartars broke his confidence, and 
he died prematurely after a reign of twenty- 
three years, which was remarkable as wit- 
nessing the consolidation of the Hans. The 
good work of Wenti was continued during 
the peaceful reign of sixteen years of his son 
Kingti. 

The next Emperor was Vouti, a younger 
son of Kingti, and one of his earliest con- 
quests was to add the difficult and inaccess- 
ible province of Fuhkien to the Empire. 
He also endeavored to propitiate the Huns 
by giving their chief one of the princesses of 
his family as a wife, but the opinion was 
gaining ground that it would be better to 
engage in a war for the overthrow of the 
national enemy than to purchase a hollow 



peace. Wang Kua, a general who had com- 
manded on the frontier, and who knew the 
Hun mode of warfare, represented that suc- 
cess would be certain, and at last gained the 
Emperor's ear. 

Vouti decided on war, and raised a large 
army for the purpose. But the result was not 
auspicious. Wang Kua failed to bring the 
Huns to an engagement, and the campaign 
which was to produce such great results 
ended ingloriously. The unlucky general 
who had promised so much anticipated his 
master's displeasure by committing suicide. 
Unfortunately for himself, his idea of engag- 
ing in a mortal struggle with the Tartars 
gained ground, and became in time the fixed 
policy of China. 

Annexing a Province. 

Notwithstanding this check, the authority 
of Vouti continued to expand. He annexed 
Szchuen, a province exceeding in size and 
population most European states, and he 
received from the ruler of Manchuria a for- 
mal tender of submission. In the Jast years 
of his reign the irrepressible Hun question 
again came up for discussion, and the episode 
of the flight of the Yuchi from Kansuh 
affords a break in the monotony of the 
struggle, and is the first instance of that 
western movement which brought the tribes 
of the Gobi desert into Europe. The Yuchi 
are believed to have been allied with the Jats 
of India, and there is little or no doubt that 
the Sacae, or Scythians, were their descend- 
ants. They occupied a strip of territory in 
Kansuh from Shachow to Lanchefoo, and 
after suffering much at the hands of the 
Huns under Meha, they resolved to seek "a 
fresh home in the unknown regions of West- 
ern Asia. 

The Emperor Vouti wished to bring them 
back, and he sent an envoy named Chang 



THE STORY OF THE HAN RULERS. 



35 



Keen to induce them to return. That officer 
discovered them in the Oxus region, but all 
his arguments failed to incline them to leave 
a quarter in which they had recovered power 
and prosperity. Powerless against the Huns, 
they had more than held their own against 
the Parthians and the Greek kingdom of 
Bactria. They retained their predominant 
position in what is now Bokhara and Balkh, 
until they were gathered up by the Huns in 
their western march, and hurled, in conjunc- 
tion with them, on the borders of the Roman 
Empire. 

Meantime, the war with the Huns them- 
selves entered upon a new phase. A general 
named Wei Tsing obtained a signal xactory 
over them, capturing I5,(X)0 prisoners and 
the spoil of the Tartar camp. This success 
restored long-lost confidence to the Chinese 
troops, and it was followed by several other 
victories. One Chinese expedition, composed 
entirely of cavalry, marched through the 
Hun countr}' to Soponomo on the Tian 
Shan, carrj'ing .ever>1:hing before it and 
returning laden with spoil, including some 
of the golden images of the Hun religion. 

The Tartar King. 
Encouraged by these successes, Vouti at 
last took the field in person, and sent a for- 
mal summons to the Tartar King to make 
his submission to China. His reply was to 
imprison the bearer of the message, and to 
def)' the Emperor to do his worst. This 
boldness had the effect of deterring the Em- 
peror from his enterprise. He employed his 
troops in conquering Yunnan and Leaoutung 
instead of in waging another war with the 
Huns. But he had only postponed, not 
abandoned, his intention of ov'erthrowing, 
once and for all, this most troublesome and 
formidable national enemy. He raised an 
enormous force for tlie campaign, which 



might have proved successful but for the 
mistake of entrusting the command to an in- 
competent general. 

In an ill-advised moment, he gave his 
brother-in-law, Li Kwangli, the supreme 
direction of the war. His incompetence en- 
tailed a succession of disasters, and the only 
redeeming point amid them was that Li 
Kwangli was taken prisoner and rendered 
incapable of further mischief Liling, the 
grandson of this general, was entrusted with 
a fresh army to retrieve the fortunes of the 
war ; but, although successful at first, he was 
out-manoeuvred, and reduced to the unpleas- 
ant pass of surrendering to the enemy. 

Death of a Great Ruler. 

Both Li Kwangli and Liling adapted them- 
selves to circumstances, and took service 
under the Tartar chief. As this conduct ob- 
tained the approval of the historian Ssemat- 
sien, it is clear that our views of such a pro- 
ceeding would not be in harmony with the 
opinion in China of that day. The long war 
which Vouti waged with the Huns for half a 
century, and which was certainly carried on 
in a more honorable and successful manner 
than any previous portion of that historic 
struggle, closed with discomfiture and defeat, 
which dashed to the ground the Emperor's 
hopes of a complete triumph over the most 
formidable national enemy. 

After a reign of fifty-four years, which must 
be pronounced glorious, Vouti died, amidst 
greater troubles and anxieties than any that 
had beset him during his long reigri. He 
was unquestionably a great ruler. He added 
several provinces to his Empire, and the suc- 
cess he met with over the Huns was far from 
being inconsiderable. He was a Nimrod 
among the Chinese, and his principal enjoy- 
ment was to chase the wildest animals with- 
out any attendants. 



36 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Like many other Chinese princes, Vouti 
was prone to believe in the possibility of 
prolonging human life, or, as the Chinese 
put it, in the draught of immortality. In 
connection with this weakness an anecdote is 
preserved that will bear telling. A magician 
offered the Emperor a glass containing the 
pretended elixir of eternal life, and Vouti was 
about to drink it when a courtier snatched it 
from his hand and drained the goblet. The 
enraged monarch ordered him to prepare for 
instant death, but the ready courtier at once 
replied, " How can I be executed since I have 
drunk the draught of immortality ? " To so 
convincing an argument no reply was possi- 
ble, and Vouti lived to a considerable age 
without the aid of magicians or quack medi- 
cines. 

An Emperor Eight Years Old. 

Of him also it may be said that he added 
to the stability of the Han dynasty, and he 
left the throne to Chaoti, the youngest of his 
sons, a child of eight, for whom he appointed 
his two most experienced ministers to act as 
governors. As these ministers were true to 
their duty, the interregnum did not affect the 
fortunes of the State adversely, and several 
claimants to the throne paid for their ambi- 
tion with their lives. The reign of Chaoti 
was prosperous and successful, but, unfortu- 
nately, he died at the early age of thirty-one, 
and without leaving an heir. 

After some hesitation, Chaoti's uncle 
Liucho was proclaimed Emperor, but he 
proved to be a boor with low tastes, whose 
sole idea of power was the license to indulge 
in coarse amusements. The chief minister. 
Ho Kwang, took upon himself the responsi- 
bility of deposing him, and also of placing on 
the throne Siuenti, who was the great-grand- 
son, or, according to another account, the 
grandson, of Vouti. The choice was a for- 



tunate one, and " Ho Kwang gave all his 
care to perfecting the new Emperor in the 
science of government." As a knowledge 
of his connection with the Imperial family 
had been carefully kept from him, Siuenti 
was brought from a very humble sphere to 
direct the destinies of the Chinese, and his 
greater energy and more practical disposition 
were probably due to his not having been bred 
in the enervating atmosphere of a palace. 

Compelled to Poison Themselves. 

He, too, was brought at an early stage of 
his career face to face with the Tartar ques- 
tion, and he had what may be pronounced a 
unique experience in his wars with them. 
He sent several armies under commanders 
of reputation to wage war on them, and the 
generals duly returned, reporting decisive and 
easily obtained victories. The truth soon 
leaked out. The victories were quite im^agi- 
nary. The generals had never ventured to 
face the Tartars, and they were given no 
option by their enraged and disappointed 
master but to poison themselves. 

Other generals were appointed, and the 
Tartars were induced to sue for peace, partly 
from fear of the Chinese, and partly because 
they were disunited among themselves. Such 
was the reputation of Siuenti for justice that 
several of the Tartar chiefs carried their 
grievances to the foot of his throne, and his 
army became known as "the troops of jus- 
tice." It is said that all the tribes and coun- 
tries of Central Asia as far west as the Cas- 
pian sent him tribute, and to celebrate the 
event he built a kiln or pavilion, in which 
he placed statues of all the generals who had 
contributed towards his triumph. 

Only one incident marred the tranquility 
of Siuenti's reign. The great statesman. Ho 
Kwang, had sunk quietly into private life as 
soon as he found the Emperor capable of 




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THE STORY OF THE HAN RULERS. 



37 



governing for himself, but his wife Hohien 
was more ambitious and less satisfied with 
her position, although she had effected a 
marriage between her daughter and Siuenti. 
This lady was only one of the queens of the 
ruler, and not the Empress. Hohien, to 
further her ends, determined to poison the 
Empress, and succeeded only too well. Her 
guilt would have been divulged by the doctor 
she employed, but that Ho Kwang, by an 
exercise of his authority, prevented the appli- 
cation of torture to him when thrown into 
prison. 

This narrow escape from detection did not 
keep Hohien from crime. She had the satis- 
faction of seeing her daughter proclaimed 
Empress, but her gratification was dimin- 
ished by the son of the murdered Hiuchi 
being selected as heir to the throne. Hohien 
resolved to poison this prince, but her design 
was discovered, and she and all the members 
of her family were ordered to take poison. 
The minister, Ho Kwang, had taken no part 
in these plots, which, however, injured his 
reputation, and his statue in the Imperial 
pavilion was left without a name. 

A Head Hung on the \A^alls. 
Siuenti did not long survive these events, 
and Yuenti, the son of Hiuchi, became Em- 
peror. His reign of sixteen years presents 
no features of interest beyond the signal 
overthrow of the Tartar chief. Chichi, whose 
head was sent by the victorious general to 
be hung on the walls of Singan. Yuenti was 
succeeded by his son Chingti, who reigned 
twenty-six years, and who gained the repu- 
tation of a Chinese Vitellius. His nephew, 
Gaiti, who was the next Emperor, showed 
himself an able and well-intentioned prince, 
but his reign of six years was too brief to 
allow of any permanent work being accom- 
plished. One measure of his was not with- 



out its influence on the fate of his successors. 
He had disgraced and dismissed from the 
service an official named Wang Mang, who 
had attained great power and influence under 
Chingti. The ambition of this individual 
proved fatal to the dynasty. On Gaiti's 
death he emerged from his retirement, and 
in conjunction with that prince's mother, 
seized the government. 

Crime to Gain the Throne. 

They placed a child, grandson of Yuenti, 
on the throne, and they gave him the name 
of Pingti, or the Peaceful Emperor, but he 
never governed. Before Pingti was fourteen, 
Wang Mang resolved to get rid of him, and 
he gave him the poisoned cup with his own 
hands. This was not the only, or perhaps 
the worst, crime that Wang Mang, perpe- 
trated to gain the throne. Pressed for 
money to pay his troops, he committed the 
sacrilege of stripping the graves of the 
princes of the Han family of the jewels 
deposited in them. One more puppet prince 
was placed on the throne, but he was soon 
got rid of, and Wang ^lang proclaimed him- 
self Emperor. He also decreed that the Han 
dynasty was extinct, and that his family should 
be known as the Sin. 

Wang Mang the usurper was certainly a 
capable administrator, but in seizing the 
throne he had attempted a task to which he 
was unequal. As long as he was minister 
or regent, respect and regard for the Han 
family prevented many from revolting against 
his tyranny, but when he seized the throne 
he became the mark of popular indignation 
and official jealousy. The Huns resumed 
their incursions, and, curiously enough, put 
forward a proclamation demanding the resto- 
ration of the Hans. 

Internal enemies sprang up on every side, 
and Wang Clang's attempt to terrify them by 



38 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



severity and wholesale executions only aggra- 
vated the situation. It became clear that the 
struggle was to be one to the death, but this 
fact did not assist Wang Mang, who saw his 
resources gradually reduced, and his enemies 
more confident as the contest continued. 
After twelve years' fighting, Wang Mang 
was besieged at Singan. The city was soon 
carried by storm, and Wang Mang retired to 



Liu Hiuen, was placed on the throne, and 
the capital was removed from Singan to 
Loyang, or Honan. Nothing could have 
been more popular among the Chinese 
people than the restoration of the Hans. 
It is said that the old men cried for joy 
when they saw the banner of the Hans 
again waving over the palace and in the 
field. But Liu Hiuen was not a good ruler. 




SALE OF PRAYERS IN A CHINESE TEMPLE. 



the palace to put an end to his existence. 
But his heart failed him, and he was cut 
down by the foe. His last exclamation and 
the dirge of his short-Hved dynasty, which is 
denied a place in Chinese history, was, " If 
Heaven had given me courage, what could 
the family of the Hans have done ? " 

The eldest of the surviving Han princes. 



and there might have been reason to regret 
the change if he had not wisely left the con- 
duct of affairs to his able cousin, Liu Sieou. 
At last the army declared that Liu Sieou 
should be Emperor, and when Liu Hiuen 
attempted to form a faction of his own he 
was murdered by Fanchong, the leader of 
a confederacy known as the Crimson Eye- 



THE STORY OF THE HAN RULERS. 



39 



brows, on whose co-operation he counted. 
The Crimson Eyebrows were so called 
from the distinguishing mark which they 
had adopted when first organized as a pro- 
test against the tyranny of Wang Mang. At 
first they were patriots, but they soon be- 
came brigands. After murdering the Em- 
peror, Fanchong, their leader, threw off all 
disguise, and seizing Singan, gave it over to 
his followers to plunder. Liu Sieou, on be- 
coming Emperor, took the style of Kwang 
Vouti, and his first task was to overthrow 
the Crimson Eyebrows, who had become a 
public enemy. He entrusted the command 
of the army he raised for this purpose to 
Fongy, who justified his reputation as the 
most skilful Chinese general of his day by 
gaining several victories over a more numer- 
ous adversary. Within two years Kwang 
Vouti had the satisfaction of breaking up the 
formidable faction known as the Crimson 
Eyebrows, and of holding its leader Fan- 
chong as a prisoner in his capital. 

Constant Wars. x 

Kwang Vouti was engaged for many more 
years in subduing the numerous potentates 
who had repudiated the Imperial authority. 
His efforts were invariably crowned with 
success, but he acquired so great a distaste 
for war that it is said when his son asked 
him to explain how an army was set in 
battle array he refused to reply. But the 
love of peace will not avert w-ar when a 
State has turbulent or ambitious neighbors 
who are resolved to appeal to arms, and so 
Kwang Vouti was engaged in almost con- 
stant hostilities to the end of his days. 

Chingtse, the Queen of Kaochi, which 
may be identified with the modem Annam, 
defied the Chinese, and defeated the first 
army sent to bring her to reason. This 
reverse necessitated a still greater effort on 



the part of the Chinese ruler to bring his 
neighbor to her senses. The occupant of 
the Dragon Throne could not sit down 
tamely under a defeat inflicted by a woman, 
and an experienced general named Mayuen 
was sent to punish the Queen of Kaochi. 

The Boadicea of Annam made a valiant 
defence, but she was overthrown, and glad 
to purchase peace by making the humblest 
submission. The same general more than 
held his own on the northern and northwest 
frontiers. When Kwang Vouti died, in 
A. D. 57, after a brilliant reign of thirty- 
three years, he had firmly established the 
Han dynasty, and he left behind him the 
reputation of being both a brave and a just 
prince. 

A Prosperous Reign. 

His son and successor, Mingti, was not 
unworthy of his father. His acts were char- 
acterized by wisdom and clemency, and the 
country enjoyed a large measure of peace 
through the policy of Mingti and his father. 
A general named Panchow, who was per- 
haps the greatest military commander China 
ever produced, began his long and remark- 
able career in this reign, and, without the 
semblance of an effort, kept the Huns in 
order, and maintained the Imperial authority 
over them. Among other great and import- 
ant works, Mingti constructed a dyke, thirty 
miles long, for the relief of the Hoangho, 
and the French missionary and writer, Du 
Halde, states that so long as this was kept 
in repair there were no floods. 

The most remarkable ev^ent of Mingti's 
reign was undoubtedly the official introduc- 
tion of Buddhism into China. Some knowl- 
edge of the great Indian religion and of the 
teacher Sakya Muni seemed to have reached 
China through either Tibet, or, more prob- 
ably, Burma, but it was not until Mingti, in 



40 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



consequence of a dream, sent envoys to 
India to study Buddhism, that its doctrine 
became known in China. Under the direct 
patronage of the Emperor it made rapid 
progress, and although never unreservedly 
popular, it has held its ground ever since its 
introduction in the first century of our era, 
and is now inextricably intertwined with the 
religion of the Chinese state and people. 
Mingti died after a successful reign of eigh- 
teen years in 75 A. D. His son, Changti, 
with the aid of his mother, Machi, the 
daughter of the general Mayuen, enjoyed a 
peaceful reign of thirteen years, and died at 
an early age lamented by his sorrowing 
people. 

The Huns Conquered. 

After Changti came his son Hoti, who was 
only ten at the time of his accession, and 
who reigned for seventeen years. He was a 
virtuous and well-intentioned prince, who 
instituted many internal reforms, and during 
his reign a new writing-paper was invented, 
which is supposed to have been identical 
with the papyrus of Egypt. 

But the reign of Hoti is rendered illus- 
trious by the remarkable military achieve- 
ments of Panchow. The success of that 
general in his operations with the Huns has 
already been referred to, and he at last 
formed a deliberate plan for driving them 
away from the Chinese frontier. Although 
he enjoyed the confidence of his successive 
sovereigns, the Imperial sanction was long 
withheld from this vast scheme, but during 
the life of Changti he began to put in opera- 
tion measures for the. realization of this pro- 
ject that were only matured under Hoti. He 
raised and trained a special army for frontier 
war. He enlisted tribes who had never 
served the Emperor before, and who were 
specially qualified for desert warfare. He 



formed an alliance with the Sienpi tribes of 
Manchuria, who were probably the ancestors 
of the present Manchus, and thus arranged 
for a flank attack on the Huns. 

This systematic attack was crowned with 
success. The pressure brought against 
them compelled the Hiongnou to give way, 
and as they were ousted froTn their posses- 
sions, to seek fresh homes further west. In 
this they were, no doubt, stimulated by the 
example of their old opponents, the Yuchi, 
but Panchow's energy supplied a still more 
convincing argument. He pursued them 
wherever they went, across the Gobi desert 
and beyond the Tian Shan range, taking up 
a strong position at modern Kuldja and 
Kashgar, sending his expeditions on to the 
Pamir, and preparing to complete his 
triumph by the invasion of the countries of 
the Oxus and Jaxartes. 

A Brilliant Campaign. 

When Hoti was still a youth, he com- 
pleted this programme by overrunning the 
region as far as the Caspian, which was prob- 
ably at that time connected with the Aral, 
and it may be supposed that Khiva marked 
the limit of the Chinese general's triumphant 
progress. It is affirmed with more or less 
show of truth that he came into contact with 
the Roman Empire or the great Thsin, as 
the Chinese called it, and that he wished to 
establish commercial relations with it. But, 
however uncertain this may be, there can be 
no doubt that he inflicted a most material 
injury on Rome, for before his legions fled 
the Huns, who, less than four centuries later, 
debased the majesty of the Imperial City, 
and whose leader, Attila, may have been a 
descendant of that Meha, at whose hands 
the Chinese suffered so severely. 

After this brilliant and memorable war, 
Panchow returned to China, where he died 



42 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



at the great age of eighty. With him dis- 
appeared the good fortune of the Han 
dynasty, and misfortunes fell rapidly on the 
family that had governed China so long and 
so well. Hoti's infant son lived only a few 
months, and then his brother Ganti became 
Emperor. The real power rested in the 
hands of the widow of Hoti, who was ele- 
vated to the post of Regent. Ganti was 
succeeded in A. D. 124 by his son Chunti, 
in whose time several rebellions occurred, 
threatening the extinction of the dynasty. 

Ambitious Schemes. 

Several children were then elevated to the 
throne, and at last an ambitious noble named 
Leangki, whose sister was one of the Em- 
presses, acquired the supreme direction of 
affairs. He gave a great deal of trouble, 
but at last, finding that his ambitious schemes 
did not prosper, he took poison, thus antici- 
pating a decree passed for his execution. 
Hwanti, the Emperor who had the courage 
to punish this powerful noble, was the last 
able ruler of the Hans. His reign was, on 
the whole, a brilliant one, and the Sienpi 
tribes, who had taken the place of the 
Hiognou, were, after one arduous campaign, 
defeated in a pitched battle. The Chinese 
were on the verge of defeat when their 
general, Twan Kang, rushed to the front, 
exclaiming : " Recall to your minds how 
often before you have beaten these same 
opponents, and teach them again to-day 
that in you they have their masters." 

After Hwanti's death the decline of the 
Hans was rapid. They produced no other 
ruler worthy of the throne. In the palace 
the eunuchs, always numerous at the Chi- 
nese Court, obtained the upper hand, and 
appointed their own creatures to the great 
governing posts. Fortunately this dissen- 
sion at the capital was not attended by weak- 



ness on the frontier, and the Sienpi were 
again defeated. The battle is chiefly mem- 
orable because the Sienpi endeavored to 
frighten the Chinese general by threatening 
to kill his mother, who was a prisoner in 
their hands, if he attacked. 

Not deterred by this menace, Chow Pow 
attacked the enemy, and gained a decisive 
victory, but at the cost of his mother's life, 
which so affected him that he died of griet 
shortly afterwards. After some time dissen- 
sions rose in the Han family, and two half 
brothers claimed the throne. Pienti became 
Emperor by the skilful support of his uncle. 
General Hotsin, while his rival Hienti en- 
joyed the support of the eunuchs. A deadly 
feud ensued between the two parties, which 
was aggravated by the murder of Hotsin, 
who rashly entered the palace without an 
escort. His soldiers avenged his death, 
carrying the palace by storm, and putting 
10,000 eunuchs to the sword. 

End of a Famous Dynasty. 

After this the last Emperors possessed 
only the name of Emperor. The practical 
authority was disputed among several gen- 
erals, of whom Tsow Tsow was the most 
distinguished and successful; and he and 
his son Tsowpi founded a dynasty. In 
A. D. 220 Hienti, the last Han ruler, re- 
tired into private life as Prince of Chanyang, 
thus bringing to an end the famous Han 
dynasty, which had governed China for 475 
years. 

Among the families that have reigned in 
China none have obtained as high a place in 
popular esteem as the Hans. They ren- 
dered excellent work in consolidating the 
Empire and in carrying out what may be 
called the Imperial mission of China. Yun- 
nan and Leaoutung were made provinces for 
the first time. Cochin China became a vas- 



THE STORY OF THE HAN RULERS. 



43 



sal state. The writ of the Emperor ran as 
far as the Pamir. The wealth and trade of 
the country increased with the progress of 
its armies. Some of the greatest public 
works, in the shape of roads, bridges, canals, 
and aqueducts, were constructed during this 
period, and still remain to testify to the glory 
of the Hans. 

As has been seen, the Hans produced 
several great rulers. Their fame was not 
the creation of one man alone, and as a 
consequence the dynasty enjoyed a length- 
ened existence equalled by few of its prede- 
cessors or successors. No ruling family was 
ever more popular with the Chinese than 



this, and it managed to retain the throne 
when less favored rulers would have ex- 
piated their mistakes and shortcomings by 
the loss of the Empire. With the strong 
support of the people, the Hans overcame 
innumerable difficulties, and even the natural 
process of decay ; and when they made their 
final exit from history it was in a graceful 
manner, and without, the execration of the 
masses, which generally attends the fall of 
greatness and the loss of sovereign authority. 
That this feeling retains its force is shown in 
the pride with which the Chinese still pro- 
claim themselves to be the sons of Han and 
glory in their ancestry. 




IMAGE OF BUDDHA. 



CHAPTTKR III. 



THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



THE ignominious failure of the usurper 
Wang Mang to found a dynasty- 
was too recent to encourage any- 
one to take upon himself the heavy 
charge of administering the whole of the 
Han Empire, and so the state was split up 
into three principalities, and the |)eriod is 
known from this fact as the Sankoue, One 
prince, a member of the late ruling family, 
held possession of Szchuen, which was called 
the principality of Chow. The southern 
provinces were goverened by a general 
named Sunkiuen, and called Ou. 

The central and northern provinces, con- 
taining the greatest population and resources, 
formed the principality of Wei, subject to 
Tsowpi, the son of Tsow Tsow. A struggle 
for supremacy very soon began between these 
princes, and the balance of success gradually 
declared itself in favor of Wei. 

It would serve no useful purpose to enu- 
merate the battles which marked this struggle, 
yet one deed of heroism deserves mention, 
the defence of Sinching by Changte, an 
officer of the Prince of Wei. The strength 
of the place was insignificant, and, after a 
siege of ninety days, several breaches had 
been made in the walls. In this strait 
Changte sent a message to the besieging 
general that he would surrender on the hun- 
dredth day if a cessation of hostilities were 
granted, " as it was a law among the princes 
of Wei that the governor of a place which 
held out for a hundred days and then surren- 
dered, with no prospect of relief visible, 
should not be considered as guilty." The 
44 



respite was short and it was granted. But 
the disappointment of the besieger, already 
counting on success, was great when a kw 
days later he saw that the breaches had been 
repaired, that fresh defences had been impro- 
vised, and that Sinching was in better condi- 
tion than ever to withstand a seige. 

On sending to inquire the meaning of 
these preparations, Changte, gave the fol- 
lowing reply : "*I am preparing my tomb and 
to bury myself in the ruins of Sinching." 
Of such gallantry and resource the interne- 
cine strife of the Sankoue period presents few 
instances, but the progress of the struggle 
steadily pointed in the direction of the 
triumph of Wei. 

Period of United Government. 

A long period of dissension prevailed in 
China. Then came the powerful Tang 
dynasty, A. D. 617, which succeeded in 
largely restoring the unity of the nation. 
A termination was at last reached to the 
internal division and weakness that had 
lasted for more than 750 years. 

The student reaches at this point firmer 
ground in the history of China as an Empire, 
and his interest in the subject must assume a 
more definite form on coming to the begin- 
ning of that period of united government and 
settled authority which has been established 
for nearly i ,000 years, during which no more 
than four separate families have held posses- 
sion of the throne. 

After the rival dynasties of the Sungs and 
Kins rose to supremacy, the Chinese were 



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THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



45 



subjugated by a race more powerful than 
themselves. 

We must consider the origin and the 
growth of the power of the Mongols, who 
were certainly the most remarkable race of 
conquerors Asia, or perhaps the whole world, 
ever produced. 

The home of the Mongols, whose name 
signifies "brave men," was in the strip of 
territor}'^ between the Onon and Kerulon 
rivers, which are both tributaries or upper 
courses of the Amour. They first appeared 
as a separate clan or tribe in the ninth cen- 
tury, when they attracted special attention 
for their physical strength and courage 
during one of China's many wars with the 
children of the desert, and it was on that 
occasion they gained the appellation under 
which they became famous. 

The Head of the Clan. 

The earlier histor}- of the Mongol tribe is 
obscure, and baffles investigation, but there 
seems no reason to doubt their affinity to 
the Hiongnou, with whose royal house 
Genghis himself claimed blood relationship. 
If this claim be admitted, Genghis and 
Attila, who were the two specially typical 
Scourges of God, must be considered mem- 
bers of the same race, and their probability 
is certainly strengthened by the close resem- 
blance in their methods of carrjong on war. 
Budantsar is the first chief of the house of 
Genghis whose person and achievements are 
more than mythical. H? selected as the 
abode of his race the territory between the 
Onon and the Kerulou, a region fertile in 
itself, and well protected by those rivers 
against attack. 

It was also so well placed as to be beyond 
the extreme limit of any triumphant pro- 
gress of the armies of the Chinese emperor. 
If Budantsar had accomplished nothing 



more than this, he would still have done 
much to justify his memory being preserved 
among a free and independent people. But 
he seems to have incited his followers to 
pursue an active and temperate life, to 
remain warriors rather than to become rich 
and lazy citizens. He wrapped up this 
counsel in the exhortation, " What is the use 
of embarrassing ourselves with wealth ? Is 
not the fate of men decreed by Heaven ? " 
He sowed the seed of future Mongol great- 
ness, and the headship of his clan remained 
vested in his family. 

Overthrown in Battle. 

In due order of succession the chiefship 
passed to Kabul Khan, who in the year 
1 135 began to encroach on the dominion of 
Hola, the Kin Emperor. He seems to have 
been induced to commit this act of hostility 
by a prophecy, to the effect that his children 
should be emperors, and also by discourteous 
treatment received on the occasion of his 
visit to the court of Oukimai. Wliatever the 
cause of umbrage Kabul Khan made the 
Kins pay dearly for their arrogance or short- 
sighted policy. Hola sent an army under 
one of his best generals, Hushahu, to bring 
the Mongol chief to reason, but the inacces- 
sibility of his home stood him in good stead. 
The Kin army suffered greatly in its futile 
attempt to cross the desert, and during its 
retreat it was harassed by the pursuing 
Mongols. 

When the Kin army endeavored to make 
a stand against its pursuers, it sufiered a 
crushing overthrow in a battle at Hailing, 
and on the Kins sending a larger force 
against the Mongols in 11 39, it had no 
better fortune. Kabul Khan, after the 
second success, caused himself to be pro- 
claimed Great Emperor of the Mongols. 
His success in war, and his ambition, which 



46 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



rested satisfied with no secondary position, 
indicated the path on which the Mongols 
proceeded to the acquisition of supreme 
power and a paramount mihtary influence 
whithersoever they carried their name and 
standards. 

Union of Warlike Races. 

The work begun by Kabul was well con- 
tinued by his son Kutula, or Kablai. He, 
too, was a great warrior, whose deeds of 
prowess aroused as much enthusiasm among 
the Mongols as those of Cceur-de-Lion 
evoked in the days of the Plantagenets. 
The struggle with the Kins was rendered 
more bitter by the execution of several 
Mongols of importance, who happened to 
fall into the hands of the Kins. When 
Kutula died the chiefship passed to his 
nephew, Yissugei, who greatly extended the 
influence aud power of his family among the 
tribes neighboring to the Mongol home. 
Many of these, and even some Chinese, 
joined the military organization of the domi- 
nant tribe, so that what was originally a 
small force of strictly limited numbers, 
became a vast and ever-increasing con- 
federacy of the most warlike and aggressive 
races of the Chinese northern frontier. Im- 
portant as Yissugei 's work in the develop- 
ment of Mongol power undoubtedly was, 
his chief historical interest is 'derived from 
the fact that he was the father of Genghis 
Khan. 

There are several interesting fables in con- 
nection with the birth of Genghis, which 
event may be safely assigned to the year 
1 162 A. D. One of these reads as follows: 
— " One day Yissugei was hunting in com- 
pany with his brothers, and was following 
the tracks of a white hare in the snow. They 
struck upon the track of a wagon, and fol- 
lowing it up came to a spot where a 



woman's yart was pitched. Then said 
Yissugei, ' This woman will bear a valiant 
son.' He discovered that she was the 
damsel Ogelen Eke (z. e., the mother of 
nations), and that she was the wife of Yeke 
Yilatu, chief of a Tartar tribe. Yissugei 
carried her off and made her his wife." 

Birth of the "Valiant Son." 
Immediately after his overthrow of Temu- 
jin, chief of one of the principal Tartar 
tribes, Yissugei learned that the promised 
" valiant son " was about to be born, and in 
honor, of his victory he gave him the name 
of Temujin, which was the proper name of 
the great Genghis. The village or encamp- 
ment in which the future conqueror first saw 
the light of day still bears the old Mongol 
name, Dilun Boldak, on the banks of the 
Onon. When Yissugei died, Temujin, or 
Genghis, was only thirteen, and his clan of 
40,000 families refused to recognize him as 
their leader. At a meeting of the tribe 
Genghis entreated them with tears in his 
eyes to stand by the son of their former 
chief, but the majority of them mocked at 
him, exclaiming, "The deepest wells are 
sometimes dry, and the hardest stone is 
sometimes broken, why should we cling to 
thee ? " 

Genghis owed to the heroic attitude of 
his mother, who flung abroad the cow-tailed 
banner of his race, the acceptance of his 
authority by about half the warriors who 
had obeyed his father. The great advantage 
of this step was that it gave Genghis time to 
grow up to be a warrior as famous as any of 
his predecessors, and it certainly averted 
what might have easily become the irretriev- 
able disintegration of the Mongol alliance. 

The youth of Genghis was passed in one 
ceaseless struggle to regain the whole of his 
birthright. His most formidable enemy was 




I ..TJ-::»iiMC^<^')d 



48 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Chamuka, chief of the Juriats, and for a long 
time he had all the worst of the struggle, being 
taken prisoner on one occasion, and under- 
going marked indignity. On making his 
escape he had rallied his remaining followers 
round him for a final effort, and on the 
advice of his mother Ogelen Eke, who was 
his principal adviser and staunchest sup- 
porter, he divided his forces into thirteen 
regiments of i,ooo men each, and confined 
his attention to the defence of his own terri- 
tory. 

Unexpected Victory. 

Chamuka, led away by what he deemed 
the weakness of his adversary, attacked him 
on the Onon with as he considered the over- 
whelming force of 30,000 men; but the re- 
sult dispelled his hopes of conquest, for 
Genghis gained a decisive victory. Then 
was furnished a striking instance of the 
truth of the saying that "nothing succeeds 
like success." The despised Temujin, who 
was thought to be unworthy of the post of 
ruling the Mongols, was lauded to the skies, 
and the tribes declared with one voice, 
"Temujin alone is generous and v/orthy of 
ruling a great people." At this time also he 
began to show the qualities of a statesman 
and diplomatist. He formed in 1 194 a tem- 
porary alliance with the Kin emperor, Mada- 
cou, and the richness of his reward seems to 
have excited his cupidity, while his expe- 
rience of the Kin army went to prove that 
they were not so formidable as had been 
imagined. 

The discomfiture of Chamuka has been 
referred to, but he had not abandoned the 
hope of success, and when he succeeded in 
detaching the Kerait chief Wang Khan from 
the Mongols, to whom he was bound by ties 
of gratitude, he fancied that he again held 
victory in his grasp. But the intrigue did 



not realize his expectations. Wang Khan 
deserted Genghis v/hile engaged in a joint 
campaign against the Naimans, but he was 
the principal suffererer by his treachery, 
for the enemy pursued his force, and inflicted 
a heavy defeat upon it. In fact, he was 
only rescued from destruction by the timely 
aid of the man he had betrayed. 

But far from inspiring gratitude, this inci-* 
dent inflamed the resentment of Wang Khan, 
who, throwing off the cloak of simulated 
friendship, declared publicly that either the 
Kerait or the Mongol must be supreme on 
the great steppe, as there was not room for 
both. Such was the superiority in numbers 
of the Kerait, that in the first battle of this 
long and keenly-contested struggle, Wang 
Khan defeated Temujin near Ourga, where 
the mounds that cover the slain are still 
shown to the curious or skeptical visitor. 
After this serious, and in some degree unex- 
pected reverse, the fortunes of Genghis sank 
to the lowest ebb. He was reduced to ter- 
rible straits, and had to move his camp 
rapidly from one spot to another. 

Put Him to Death. 

A small section of his followers, mindful 
of his past success and prowess, still clung 
to him, and by a sudden and daring coup he 
changed the whole aspect of the contest. 
He surprised Wang Khan in his camp at 
night, and overwhelmed him and his forces. 
Wang Khan escaped to his old foes, the Nai- 
mans, who, disregarding the laws of hospi- 
tality, put him to death. The death of 
Wang Khan signified nothing less than the 
wholesale defection of the Kerait tribe, which 
joined Genghis to the last man. Then Geng- 
his turned westwards to settle the question 
of supremacy with the Naimans, who were 
both hostile and defiant. 

The Naiman chief shared the opinion of 



THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



49 



Wang Khan, that there could not be two 
masters on the Tian Shan, and with that 
vigorous illustration which has never been 
wanting to these illiterate tribes, he wrote, 
" There cannot be two suns in the sky, two 
swords in one sheath, two eyes in one eyepit, 
or two kings in one empire." Both sides 
made strenuous efforts for the fray, and 
brought every fighting man they could into 
the field. The decisive battle of the war 
was fought in the heart of Jungaria, and 
the star of Genghis rose in the ascendant. 
The Naimans fought long and well, but they 
were borne down by the heavier armed 
Mongols, and their desperate resistance only 
^dded to their loss. Their chief died of his 
wounds, and the triumph of Genghis was 
rendered complete by the capture of his old 
enemy, Chamuka. 

Nine White Yak-Tails. 

As Genghis had sworn the oath of friend- 
ship with Chamuka, he would not slay him, 
but he handed him over to a relative, who 
promptly exacted the rough revenge his past 
hostility and treachery seemed to call for. 
On his way back from this campaign the 
Mongol chief attacked the Prince of Hia, 
who reigned over Kansuh and Tangut, and 
thus began the third war he waged for the 
extension of his power. Before this assumed 
serious proportions he summoned a Grand 
Council or Kuriltai, at his camp on the 
Onon, and then erected outside his tent the 
royal Mongol banner of the nine white yak- 
tails. 

It was on this occasion that Temujin took, 
and was proclaimed among the Mongol 
chiefs by, the highly exalted name of 
Genghis Khan, which means Very Mighty 
Khan. The Chinese character for the name 
signifies " Perfect Warrior," and the earlier 
European writers affirm that it is supposed 
4 



to represent the sound of " the bird of 
heaven." At this assemblage, which was 
the first of a long succession of Mongol 
councils summoned at the same place on 
critical occasions, it was supposed and agreed 
that the war should be carried on with the 
richer and less warlike races of- the south. 

Rewards and Decorations. 

Among soldiers it is necessary to pre- 
serve the spirit of pre-eminence and warlike 
zeal by granting rewards and decorations. 
Genghis realized the importance of this 
matter, and instituted the order of Baturu or 
Bahadur, meaning warrior. He also made 
his two leading generals Muhula and Porshu 
p'rinces, one to sit on his right hand and the 
other on his left. He addressed them before 
council in the following words: — "It is to 
you that I owe my empire. You are and 
have been to me as the shafts of a carriage 
or the arms to a man's body." Seals of 
office were also granted to all the officials, so 
that their authority might be the more evi- 
dent and the more honored. 

In A, D. 1207 Genghis began his war 
with the state of Hia, which he had deter- 
mined to crush as the preliminary invasion of 
China. In that year he contented himself 
with the capture of Wuhlahai, one of the 
border fortresses of that principality, and in 
the following year he established his control 
over the tribes of the desert more fully, thus 
gaining many Kirghiz and Naiman aux- 
iliaries. In 1 209 he resumed the war with 
Hia in a determined spirit, and placed him- 
self in person at the head of all his forces. 
Although the Hia ruler prepared as well as 
he could for the struggle, he was really un- 
nerved by the magnitude of the danger he 
had to face. His army was overthrown, his 
best gefterals were taken prisoners, and he 
himself had no resource left but to throw 



50 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



himself on the consideration of Genghis. 
For good reasons the Mongol conqueror 
was lenient. He married one of the daugh- 
ters of the king, and he took him into sub- 
sidiary alliance with himself. 

Thus did Genghis absorb the Hia power, 
which was very considerable, and prepared 
to enrol it with all his own resources against 
the Kin empire. The Mongols owed their 



before the time of Genghis. War had be- 
come a science. 

But the Mongols carried the teaching of 
the past to a further point than any of the 
former or contemporary Chinese com- 
manders, indeed, than any in the whole 
world had done ; and the revolution which 
they effected in tactics was not less remark- 
able in itself, and did not leave a smaller im- 




A CHINESE BRIDGE. 



military success to their admirable discipline 
and to their close study of the art of war. 
Their military supremacy arose from their 
superiority in all essentials as a fighting 
power to their neighbors. Much of their 
knowledge was borrowed from China, where 
the art of disciplining a large army and 
manoeuvring it in the field had been brought 
to a high state of perfection many centuries 



pression upon the age, than the improve- 
ments made in military science by Frederick 
the Great and Napoleon did in their day. 
The Mongol played in a large way in Asia 
the part which the Normans on a smaller 
scale played in Europe. Although the land- 
marks of their triumph have almost wholly 
vanished, they were for two centuries the 
dominant caste in most of the states of Asia. 



THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



51 



Having thus prepared the way for a larger 
enterprise, it only remained to find a plaus- 
ible pretext for attacking the Kins, the other 
dynasty, ruling in southern China. With or 
without a pretext Genghis would no doubt 
have made war, but even the ruthless Mongol 
sometimes showed a regard for appearances. 
Many years before the Kins had sent as 
envoy to the Mongol encampment Conghei, 
a member of their ruling house, and his mis- 
sion had been not only unsuccessful, but had 
led to a personal antipathy between the two 
men. In the course of time Conghei suc- 
ceeded Madacou as emperor of the Kins, 
and when a Kin messenger brought intelh- 
gence of this event to Genghis, the Mongol 
ruler turned towards the south, spat upon 
the ground, and said, " I thought that your 
sovereigns were of the race of the gods, but 
do you suppose that I am going to do 
homage to such an imbecile as that? " 

All the Tribes Rallied. 

The affront rankled in the mind of Chon- 
chei, and while Genghis w^as engaged with 
Hia, he sent troops to attack the Mongol out- 
posts. Chonghei thus placed himself in the 
wrong, and gave Genghis justification for de- 
claring that the Kins and not he began the war. 
The reputation of the Golden dynasty, al- 
though not as great as it once was, still 
stood sufficienty high to make the most 
adventurous of desert chiefs wary in attack- 
ing it. Genghis had already secured the 
co-operation of the ruler of Hia in his enter- 
prise, and he next concluded an alliance 
with Yeliu Liuko, chief of the Khitans, who 
w'ere again manifesting discontent with the 
Kins. 

Genghis finally circulated a proclamation 
among all the desert tribes, calling upon 
them to join him in his attack upon the 
common enemy. This appeal was heartily 



and generally responded to, and it was at 
the head of an enormous force that Genghis 
set out in March, 121 1, to effect the con- 
quest of China. The Mongol army was led 
by Genghis in person, and under him his 
four sons and his most famous general, 
Chepe Noyan, held commands. 

Ravages of War. 

The plan of campaign of the Mongol 
ruler was as simple as it was bold. From 
his camp at Karakoram, on the Kerulon, he 
marched in a straight line through Kuku 
Khoten and the Ongut country to Taitong, 
securing an unopposed passage through the 
Great Wall, by the defection of the Ongut 
tribe. The Kins were unprepared for this 
sudden and vigorous assault directed on their 
weakest spot, and successfully executed be- 
fore their army could reach the scene. Dur- 
ing the two years that the forces of Genghis 
kept the field on this occasion, they devas- 
tated the greater portion of the three northern 
provinces of Shensi, Shansi, and Pechihli. 

But the border fortress of Taitong and the 
Kin. capital, Tungking, successfully resisted 
all the assaults of the Mongols, and when 
Genghis received a serious wound at the 
former place, he reluctantly ordered the re- 
treat of his army, laden with an immense 
quantity of spoil, but still little advanced in 
its main task of conquering China. The 
success of Khitan Yeliu Liuko had not been 
less considerable, and he was proclaimed 
King of Leaou as a vassal of the Mongols, 
The planting of this ally on the very thresh- 
old of Chinese power facilitated the subse- 
quent enterprises of the Mongols against the 
Kins, and represented the most important 
result of this war. 

In 121 3 Genghis again invaded the Kin 
dominions, but his success was not very 
striking, and in several engagements of no 



52 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



very great importance the Kin arms met 
witli some success. The most important 
events of the year were, however, the depo- 
sition and murder of Chonghei, the murder 
of a Kin general, Hushahu, who had won a 
battle against the Mongols, and the procla- 
mation of Utubu as Emperor. The change 
of sovereign brought no change of fortune 
to the unlucky Kins. Utubu was only able 
to find safety behind the walls of his capital, 
and he was delighted when Genghis wrote 
him the following letter: "Seeing your 
wretched condition and my exalted fortune, 
what may your opinion be now of the will 
of heaven with regard to myself? At this 
moment I am desirous to return to Tartary, 
but could you allow my soldiers to take their 
departure without appeasing their anger with 
presents ? " 

An Inhuman Massacre. 

In reply, Utubu sent Genghis a princess 
of a family as a wife, and also " 500 youths, 
the same number of girls, 3000 horses, and 
a vast quantity of precious articles." Then 
Genghis retired once more to Karakoram, 
but on his march he stained his reputation 
by massacring all his prisoners — the first 
gross act of inhumanity he committed during 
his Chinese wars. 

When Utubu saw the Mongols retreating, 
he thought to provide against the most seri- 
ous consequences of their return by removing 
his capital to a greater distance from the 
frontier, and with this object he transferred 
his residence to Kaifong. The majority of 
his advisers were against this change, as a 
retirement could not but shake public confi- 
dence. It had another consequence, which 
they may not have contemplated, and that 
was its providing Genghis with an excuse for 
renewing his attack on China. The Mongol 
at once complained that the action of the 



Kin Emperor implied an unwarrantable sus- 
picion of his intentions, and he sent his army 
across the frontier to recommence his humilia- 
tion. 

On this occasion a Kin general deserted to 
them, and thenceforward large bodies of the 
Chinese of the north attached themselves to 
the Mongols, who were steadily acquiring a 
unique reputation for power as well as mili- 
tary prowess. The great event of this war 
was the siege of Yenking — on the site of 
which now stands the capital Pekin — the 
defence of which had been entrusted to the 
Prince Imperial, but Utubu, more anxious 
for his son's safety than the interests of the 
state, ordered him to return to Kaifong. The 
governor of Yenking offered a stout resist- 
ance to the Mongols, and when he found 
that he could not hold out, he retired to the 
temple of the city and poisoned himself. His 
last act was to write a letter to Utubu beg- 
ging him to listen no more to the pernicious 
advice of the man who had induced him to 
murder Hushahu. 

On to Central China. 
The capture of Yenking, where Genghis 
obtained a large supply of Avar materials, as 
well as vast booty, opened the road to Cen- 
tral China. The Mongols advanced as far 
as the celebrated Tunkwan pass, which con- 
nects Shensi and Honan, but when their gen- 
eral, Samuka, saw how formidable it was, 
and how strong were the Kin defences and 
garrison, he declined to attack it, and, mak- 
ing a detour through very difficult country, 
he marched on Kaifong, where Utubu little 
expected him. The Mongols had to make 
their own road, and they crossed several 
ravines by improvised "bridges made of 
spears and the branches of trees bound 
together by strong chains." But the Mon- 
gol force was too small to accomplish any 



54 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



great result, and the impetuosity of Samuka 
was nearly leading to his destruction. A 
prompt retreat, and the fact that the Hoangho 
was frozen over, enabled him to extricate his 
army after much fatigue and reduced in 
numbers, from its awkward position. 

Sudden Successes. 

The retreat of the Mongols inspired 
Utubu with sufficient confidence to induce 
him to attack Yeliu Liuko in Leaoutung, 
and the success of this enterprise imparted a 
gleam of sunshine and credit to the expiring 
cause of the Kins. Yelin Liuko was driven 
from his newly-created kingdom, but Geng- 
his hastened to the assistance of his ally by 
sending Muhula, the greatest of all his gen- 
erals, at the head of a large army to recover 
Leaoutung. His success was rapid and 
remarkable. The Kins were speedily over- 
thrown, Yeliu Liuko was restored to his 
authority, and the neighboring King of 
Corea, impressed by the magnitude of the 
Mongol success, hastened to acknowledge 
himself the vassal of Genghis. 

The most important result of this cam- 
paign was that Genghis entrusted to Muhula 
the control of all military arrangemeats for 
the conquest of China. He is reported to 
have said to his lieutenant: "North of the 
Taihing mountains I am supreme, but all the 
regions to the south I commend to the care of 
Muhula," and he " also presented him with a 
chariot and a banner with nine scalops. As 
he handed him this last emblem of authority, 
he spoke to his generals, saying, ' Let this 
banner be an embelm of sovereignty, and let 
the orders issued from under it be obeyed as 
my own.' " The principal reason for entrust- 
ing the conquest of China to a special force 
and commander, was that Genghis wished to 
devote the whole of his personal attention to 
the prosecution of his new war with the King 



of Khwaresm and the other great rulers of 
Western Asia. 

Muhula more than justified the selection 
and confidence of his sovereign. In the year 
1 2 18-19 h^ invaded Honan, defeated the best 
of the Kin commanders, and not merely 
overran, but retained possession of the places 
he occupied in the Kin dominions. The dif- 
ficulties of Utubu were aggravated by an 
attack from Ningtsong the Sung Emperor, 
who refused any longer to pay tribute to the 
Kins as they were evidently unable to enforce 
the claim, and the Kin armies were equally 
unfortunate against their southern opponents 
as their northern. Then Utubu endeavored 
to negotiate terms with Muhula for the 
retreat of his army, but the only conditions 
the Mongol general would accept were the 
surrender of the Kin ruler and his resigna- 
tion of the Imperial title in exchange for the 
principality of Honan. 

Had his Eye on India. 

Utubu, low as he had sunk, declined to 
abase himself further and to purchase life at 
the loss of his dignity. The sudden death 
of Muhula gained a brief respite for the dis- 
tressed Chinese potentate, but the advantage 
was not of any permanent significance, first 
of all because the Kins were too exhausted 
by their long struggle, and, secondly, because 
Genghis hastened to place himself at the head 
of his army. The news of the death of 
Muhula reached him when he was encamped 
on the frontier of India and preparing to add 
the conquest of that country to his many 
other triumphs in Central and Western Asia. 
He at once came to the conclusion that he 
must return to set his house in order at 
home, and to prevent all the results of 
Muhula's remarkable triumphs being lost. 

What " was a disadvantage for China 
proved a benefit for India, and possibly for 



THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



55 



Europe, as there is no saying how much 
further the Mongol encroachment might 
have extended westward, if the direction of 
Genghis had not been withdrawn. While 
Genghis was hastening from the Cabul river 
to the Kerulon, across the Hindoo Koosh 
and Tian Shang ranges, Utubu died, and 
Ninkiassu reigned in his stead. 

One of the first consequences of the death 
of Muhula was that the young King of Hia, 
believing that the fortunes of the Mongols 
would then wane, and that he might obtain 
a position of greater power and indepen- 
dence, threw off his allegiance, and adopted 
hostile measures against them. The prompt 
return of Genghis nipped this plan in the 
bud, but it was made quite evident that the 
conquest of Hia was essential to the success 
of any permanent annexation of Chinese ter- 
ritory, and as its prince could dispose of an 
army which he boasted numbered half-a-mil- 
lion of men, it is not surprising to find that 
he took a whole year in perfecting his 
arrangements for so grave a contest. 

Battle on Ice. 

The war began in 1225 and continued for 
two years. The success of the Mongol 
army was decisive and unqualified. The 
Hias were defeated in several battles, and in 
one of them fought upon the frozen waters 
of the Hoangho, when Genghis broke the 
ice by means of his engines, the Hia army 
was almost annihilated. The King Leseen 
was deposed, and Hia became a Mongol 
province. 

It was immediately after this successful 
war that Genghis was seized with his fatal 
illness. Signs had been seen in the heavens 
which the Mongol astrologers said indicated 
the near approach of his death. The five 
planets had appeared together in the south- 
west, and so much impressed was Genghis 



by this phenomenon that on his death-bed he 
expressed "the earnest desire that hence- 
forth the lives of our enemies shall not be 
unnecessarily sacrified. " The expression of 
this wish undoubtedly tended to mitigate the 
terrors of war as carried on by the Mongols. 

Ho\v He Died. 

The immediate successors of Genghis con- 
ducted their campaigns after a more humane 
fashion, and it was not until Timour re\'ived 
the early Mongol massacres that their oppo- 
nents felt there was no chance in appealing 
to the humanity of the Mongols. Various 
accounts have been published of the cause 
of Genghis's death, some authorities ascrib- 
ing it to violence, either by an arrow, light- 
ning or drowning, and others to natural 
causes. The event seems to have unques- 
tionably happened in his camp on the bor- 
ders of Shansi on 27th August, 1227, when 
he was about 65 years of age, during more 
than fifty of which he had enjoyed supreme 
command of his own tribe. 

The area of the undertakings conducted 
under his eye was more vast and included a 
greater number of countries than was the 
case with any other conqueror. Not a coun- 
try from the Euxine to the China Sea 
escaped the tramp of the Mongol horse- 
men, and if we include the achievements of 
his immediate successors, the conquest of 
Russia, Poland and Hungary, the plundering 
of Bulgaria, Roumania and Bosnia, the final 
subjection of China and its southern tribut- 
aries must be added to complete the tale of 
Mongol triumph. The sphere of Mongol 
influence extended beyond this large portion 
of the earth's surface, just as the conse- 
quence of an explosion cannot be restricted 
to the immediate scene of the disaster. If we 
may include the remarkable achievements of 
his descendant Baber, and of that prince's 



56 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



decendant Akbar, in India three centuries 
later, not a country in Asia enjoyed immun- 
ity from the effect of their successes. 

Perhaps the most important result of their 
great outpouring into Western Asia, which 
certainly was the arrest of the Mahomedan 
career in Central Asia, and the diversion of 
the current of the fanatical propagators of 
the Prophet's creed against Europe, is not 
yet as fully recognized as it should be. The 
doubt has been already expressed whether 
the Mongols would ever have risen to higher 
rank than that of a nomad tribe but for the 
appearance of Genghis. Leaving that sup- 
position in the category of other interesting 
but problematical conjectures, it may be 
asserted that Genghis represented in their 
highest forms all the qualities which entitled 
his race to exercise governing authority. 

The Mongol Napoleon. 

He was, moreover, a military genius of 
the very first order, and it may be ques- 
tioned whether either Caesar or Napoleon can 
as commanders be placed on a par with him. 
Even the Chinese said that he led his armies 
like a God. The manner in which he 
moved large bodies of men over vast dis- 
tances without an apparent effort, the judg- 
ment he showed in the conduct of several 
wars in countries far apart from each other, 
his strategy in unknown regions, always on 
the alert, yet never allowing hesitation or 
over-caution to interfere with his enterprise, 
the sieges which he brought to a successful 
termination, his brilliant victories, a succes- 
sion of "suns of Austerlitz," all combined 
make up the picture of a career to which 
Europe can offer nothing that will surpass, 
if, indeed, she has anything to bear compari- 
son with it. 

After the lapse of centuries, and in spite of 
the indifference with which the great figures 



of Asiatic history have been treated, the 
name of Genghis preserves its magic spell. 
It is still a name to conj ure with when record- 
ing the great revolutions of a period which 
beheld the death of the old system in China, 
and the advent in that country of a newer 
and more vigorous government which, slowly 
acquiring shape in the hands of Kublai and 
a more national form under the Mings, has 
attained the pinnacle of its utility and strength 
under the influence of the great Emperors of 
the Manchu dynasty. But great as is the 
reputation Genghis has acquired it is pro- 
bably short of his merits. He is remembered 
as a relentless and irresistible conquerer, a 
human scourge; but he was much more. 
He was one of the greatest instruments of 
destiny, one of the most remarkable moulders 
of the fate of nations to be met with in the 
history of the world. His name still over- 
shadows Asia with its fame and the tribute of 
our admiration cannot be denied. 

The Struggle Continues. 

The death of Genghis did not seriously 
retard the progress of the war against the 
Kins. He expressed the wish that war 
should be carried on in a more humane and 
less vindictive manner, but he did not advo- 
cate there being no war or the abandonment 
of any of his enterprises. His son and suc- 
cessor Ogotai was indeed specially charged 
to bring the conquest of China to a speedy 
and victorious conclusion. The weakness of 
the Mongol confederacy was the delay con- 
nected with the proclamation of a new Khan 
and the necessity of summoning to a Grand 
Council all the princes and generals of the 
race, although it entailed the suspension and 
often the abandonment of great enterprises. 

The death of Genghis saved India but not 
China. Almost his last instructions were to 
draw up the plan for attacking and turning 



THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



57 



the great fortress of Tunkwan, which had 
provided such an efficient defence for Honan 
on the north, and in 1230, Ogotai who had 
already partitioned the territory taken from 
the Kins into ten departments, took the field 
in person, giving a joint command to his 
brother Tuli, under whom ser\ed the experi- 
enced generals Yeliu Chutsia, Antchar, and 
Subutai. At first the Mongols met with no 
great success, and the Kins, encouraged by a 
momentary gleam of victor}', ventured to 
reject the terms offered by Ogotai and to 
insult his envoy. The only important fight- 
ing during the years 1 230-1 occurred round 
Fongsian, which after a long siege sur- 
rendered to Antchar, and when the campaign 
■closed the Kins presented a bold, front to the 
Mongols and still hoped to retain their power 
and dominions. 

Attacked on Two Sides. 

In 1232 the Mongols increased their armies 
in tha field, and attacked the Kins from the 
two sides. Ogotai led the main force against 
Honan, while Tuli, marching through Shensi 
into Szchuen, assailed them on their western 
flank. The difficulties encountered by Tuli 
on this march, when he had to make his own 
Toads, were such, that he entered the Kin 
territories with a much reduced and exhausted 
army. The Kin forces gained some advan- 
tage over it, but by either a feigned or a 
forced retreat, Tuli succeeded in baffling their 
pursuit, and in effecting a junction with his 
brother Ogotai, who had met with better 
fortune. Tuli destroyed everything along 
his line of march, and his massacres and 
sacks revived the worst traditions of Mongol 
ferocity. 

In these straits the Kins endeavored to 
flood the country round their capital, to 
which the Mongols had now advanced, but 
the Mongois fell upon the workmen while 



engaged in the task, and slew 10,000 of 
them. When the main Kin army accepted 
battle before the town of Yuchow, it was 
signally defeated, with the loss of three of its 
principal generals, and Ninkiassu fled from 
Kaifong to a place more removed from the 
scene of war. The garrison and townspeople 
of Kaifong — an immense city with walls 36 
miles in circumference, and a population dur- 
ing the siege it is said of 1,400,000 families, 
or nearly seven million people — offered a 
stubborn resistance to the Mongols, who 
entrusted the conduct of the attack to Subutai, 
the most daring of all their commanders. 

The ^longols employed their most formid- 
able engines, catapults hurling immense 
stones, and mortars ejecting explosives and 
combustibles, but twelve months elapsed 
before the walls were shuttered and the 
courage and provisions of the defenders 
exhausted. Then Kaifong surrendered at 
discretion, and Subutai wished to massacre 
the whole of the population. But fortunately 
for the Chinese Yeliu Chutsai was a more 
humane and a more influential general, and 
under his advice Ogotai rejected the cruel 
proposal. 

The Brave Kins. 
At this moment, when it seemed impossible 
for fate to have any worse experience in store 
for the unfortunate Kins, their old enemies 
the Sungs declared war upon them, and 
placed a large army in the field under the 
their best general, Mongkong. The relics 
of the Kin army under their sovereign Nin- 
kiassu, took shelter in Tsaichau, where they 
were closely besieged by the Mongols on 
one side and the Sungs on the other. Driven 
thus into a comer, the Kins fought with the 
courage of despair, and long held out against 
the combined efforts of their enemies. At 
last Ninkiassu saw the struggle could not be 



58 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



prolonged, and he prepared himself to end 
his life and career in a manner worthy of the 
race from which he sprang. 

When the enemy broke into the city, and 
he heard the stormers at the gate of his 
palace, he retired to an upper chamber and 
set fire to the building. Many of his gen- 
erals, and even of his soldiers, followed his 
example, preferring to end their existence 
rather than to add to the triumph of their 
Mongol and Sung opponents. Thus came 
to an end in 1234 the famous dynasty of the 
Kins, who under nine Emperors had ruled 
Northern China for 118 years, and whose 
power and military capacity may best be 
gauged by the fact that without a single ally 
they held out against the all-powerful Mon- 
gols for more than a quarter of a century. 
Ninkiassu, the last of their rulers, was not 
able to sustain the burden of their authority, 
but he at least showed himself equal to end- 
ing it in a worthy and appropriately dramatic 
manner. 

^Vamings not Heeded. 

The folly of the Sungs had completed the 
discomfiture of the Kins, and had brought to 
their own borders the terrible peril which had 
beset every other state in Asia, and which had 
in almost every case entailed destruction. 
How could the Sungs expect to avoid the 
same fate, or to propitiate the most implac- 
able and insatiable of conquering races? 
They had done this to a large extent with 
their eyes open. More than once in the 
early stages of the struggle the Kin rulers 
had sent envoys to beg their alliance, and to 
warn them that if they did not help in keep- 
ing out the Mongols, their time would come 
to be assailed and to share in the common 
ruin. 

But Ningtsong did not pay heed to the 
warning, and scarcely concealed his gratifi- 



cation at the misfortunes of his old opponents. 
The nearer the Mongols came, and the worse 
the plight to which the Kins were reduced, 
the more did he rejoice. He forgave Tuli 
the violation of Sung territory, necessary for 
his flank attack on Honan, and when the 
knell of the Kins sounded at the fall of Kai- 
fong, he hastened to help in striking the final 
blow at them, and to participate, as he hoped, 
in the distribution of the plunder. By this 
time Litsong had succeeded his cousin 
Ningtsong as ruler of the Sungs, and it is 
said that he received from Tsaichau the 
armor and personal spoils of Ninkiassu, 
which he had the satisfaction of offering up 
in the temple of his ancestors. 

Saw his Mistake. 

But when he requested the Mongols to 
comply with the more important part of the 
convention, by which the Sung forces had 
joined the Mongols before Tsaichau, and to 
evacuate the province of Honan, he experi- 
enced a rude awakening from his dream that 
the overthrow of the Kins would redound to 
his advantage, and he soon realized what 
value the Mongols attached to his alliance. 
The military capacity of Mongkong inspired 
the Sung ruler with confidence, and he called 
upon the Mongols to execute their promises, 
or to prepare for war. The Mongol garri- 
sons made no movement of retreat, and the 
utmost that Litsong was offered was a por- 
tion of Honan, if it could be practically 
divided. The proposition was probably 
meant ironically, but at all events Litsong 
rejected it, and sent Mongkong to take by 
force possesion of the disputed province. 

The Mongol forces on the spot were fewer 
than the Chinese, and they met with some 
reverses. But the hope of the Sungs that 
the fortune of war would declare in their 
favor was soon destroyed by the vast pre- 




THE GIANT CHANG. 



59 



60 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



parations of the Mongols, who, at a special 
kuriltai, held at Karakoram, declared that 
the conquest of China was to be completed. 
Then Litsong's confidence left him, and he 
sent an appeal for peace to the Mongols, 
giving up all claim to Honan, and only ask- 
ing to be left in • undisturbed possession of 
his original dominions. It was too late. 
The Mongols had passed their decree that 
the Sungs were to be treated like the Kins, 
and that the last Chinese government was to 
be destroyed. 

An Army of Half a Million. 

In 1235, the year following the immola- 
tion of Ninkiassu, the Mongols placed half a 
million men in the field for the purpose of 
destroying the Sung power, and Ogotai divi- 
ded them into three armies, which were to 
attack Litsong's kingdom from as many 
sides. The Mongol ruler entrusted the most 
difficult task to his son Kutan, who invaded 
the inaccessible and vast province of Szchuen, 
at the head of one of these armies. Not- 
withstanding its natural capacity for offering 
an advantageous defence, the Chinese turned 
their opportunities to poor account, and the 
Mongols succeeded in capturing all its fron- 
tier fortresses, with little or no resistance. 
The shortcomings of the defence can be in- 
ferred from the circumstances of the Chinese 
annahsts making special mention of one 
governor having had the courage to die at 
his post. 

For some reason not clearly stated the 
Mongols did not attempt to retain possession 
of Szchuen on this occasion. They with- 
drew when they were in successful occupa- 
tion of the northern half of the province, and 
when it seemed as if the other lay at their 
mercy. In the two dual provinces of Kiang- 
nan and Houkwang, the other Mongol armies 
met with considerable success, which was 



dimmed, however, by the death of Kuchu, 
the son and proclaimed heir of Ogotai. 
This event, entailing no inconsiderable doubt 
and long-continued disputes as to the suc- 
cession, was followed by the withdrawal of 
the Mongol forces from Sung territory, and 
during the last six years of his life Ogotai 
abstained from war, and gave himself up to 
the indulgence of his gluttony. He built a 
great palace at Karakoram, where his ances- 
tors had been content to live in a tent, and 
he entrusted the government of the old Kin 
dominions to Yeliu Chutsai, who acquired 
great popularity among the Chinese for his 
clemency and regard for their customs. 

Died of Grief. 

Yeliu Chutsai adopted the Chinese mode 
of taxation, and when Ogotai's widow, Tura- 
kina, who acted as Regent after her husband's 
death, ordered him to alter his system and 
to farm out the revenues, he sent in his resig- 
nation, and it is said, died of grief shortly 
afterwards. Ogotai was one of the most 
humane and amiable of all the Mongol rulers, 
and Yeliu Chutsai imitated his master. Of 
the latter the Chinese contemporary writers 
said " he was distinguished by a rare dis- 
interestedness. Of a very broad intellect, he 
was able, without injustice and without 
wronging a single person, to amass vast 
treasures, and to enrich his family, but all 
his care and labors had for their sole object 
the advantage and glory of his masters. 
Wise and calculating in his plans, he did 
little of which he had any reason to repent." 

During the five years following the death 
of Ogotai, the Mongols were absorbed in the 
question who should be their next Great 
Kahn, and it was only after a warm and pro- 
tracted discussion, which threatened to entail 
the disruption of Mongol power, and the 
revelation of many rivalries among the de- 



THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



61 



scendants of Genghis, that Kuyuk, the eldest 
son of Ogotai, was proclaimed Emperor. 
At the kuriltai held for this purpose, all the 
great Mongol leaders were present, including 
Batu, the conqueror of Hungary, and after 
the Mongol chiefs had agreed as to their 
chief, the captive kings, Yaroslaf of Russia, 
and David of Georgia, paid homage to their 
conqueror. We owe to the monk Carpino, 
who was sent by the Pope to convert the 
Mongol, a graphic account of one of the 
most brilliant ceremonies to be met with in 
the whole course of Mongol history. 

Pushing Forward the Conquest. 

The delay in selecting Kuyuk, whose prin- 
cipal act of sovereignty was to issue a seal 
having this inscription : " God in Heaven and 
Kuyuk on earth ; by the power of God the 
ruler of all men," had given the Sungs one 
respite, and his early death procured them 
another. Kuyuk died in 1248, and his 
cousin Mangu, the son of Tuli, was appointed 
his successor. By this time the Mongol 
chiefs of the family of Genghis in Western 
Asia were practically independent of the 
nominal Great Khan, and governed their 
states in complete sovereignty, and waged 
war without reference to Karakoram. This 
change left the Mongols in their original 
home on the Amour absolutely free to devote 
all their attention to the final overthrow of 
the Sungs, and Mangu declared that he 
would know no rest until he had finally sub- 
jected the last of the Chinese ruling families. 
In this resolution Mangu receiv^ed the hearty 
support of his younger, but more able brother, 
Kublai, to whom was entrusted the direction 
in the field of the armies sent to complete the 
conquest of China. 

Kublai received this charge in 1 2 5 1 , so 
that the Sungs had enjoyed, first through the 
pacific disposition of Ogotai, and, secondly, 



from the family disputes following his death, 
peace for more than fifteen years. The 
advantage of this tranquility was almost nul- 
lified by the death of Mongkong, a general 
whose reputation may have been easily 
gained, but who certainly enjoyed the confi- 
dence of his soldiers, and who was thought 
by his countrymen to be the best commander 
of his day. 

When the Chinese Emperor Litsong saw 
the storm again approaching his northern 
frontier, he found that he had lost the main 
support of his power, and that his military 
resources were inferior to those of his enemy. 
He had allowed himself to be lulled into a 
false sense of security by the long inaction of 
the Mongols, and although he seems to have 
been an amiable prince, and a typical Chinese 
ruler, honoring the descendants of Confucius 
with the hereditary title of Duke, which still 
remains in that family, and is the only title 
of its kind in China, and encouraging the 
literary classes of his country, he was a bad 
sovereign to be entrusted with the task of 
defending his realm and people against a bold 
and determined enemy. 

A Wise Policy. 
Kublai prepared the way for his campaigns 
in Southern China by following a very wise 
and moderate policy in Northern China 
similar to that begun by Muhula, and carried 
out with greater effect by Yeliu Chutsai. 
He had enjoyed the advantage of a Chinese 
education, imparted by an able tutor named 
Yaochu, who became the prince's private 
secretary and mentor in all Chinese matters. 
At his instigation, or, at least, with his 
co-operation, Kublai took in hand the restor- 
ation of the southern portion of Honan, 
which had been devastated during the wars, 
and he succeeded in bringing back its popu- 
lation and prosperity to that great province 



62 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



of Central China and retrieving the misfor- 
tunes of past years. 

He thus secured a base for his operations 
close to the Sung frontier, while he attached 
to his person a large section of the Chinese 
nation. There never was any concealment 
that this patronage of Chinese officials and 
these measures for the amelioration of many 
millions of Chinese subjects, were the well 
calculated preliminaries to the invasion of 
Southern China, and the extinction of the 
Sung dynasty. 

A Bold Campaign. 

If Kublai had succeeded in obtaining a 
wise adviser in Yaochu, he was not less for- 
tunate in procuring a great general in the 
person of Uriangkadai, the son of Subutai, 
and his remarkable and unvarying successes 
were largely due to the efforts of those two 
men in the cabinet and the field. The plan 
of campaign, drawn up with great care and 
forethought by the prince and his lieutenant, 
had the double merit of being both bold and 
original. Its main purpose was not one that 
the Sung generals would be likely to divine. 
It was determined to make a flank march 
round the Sung dominions, and to occupy 
what is now the province of Yunnan, and by 
placing an army in the rear of their kingdom, 
to attack them eventually from two sides. 
At this time Yunnan formed an independent 
state, and its ruler, from his position behind 
the Sung territory, must have fancied him- 
self secure against any attack by the Mon- 
gols. He was destined to a rude awakening. 

Kublai and Uriangkadai, marching across 
Szchuen and crossing the Kinchakiang, or 
"river of golden sand," which forms the 
upper course of the Great River, on rafts, 
burst into Yunnan, speedily vanquished the 
frontier garrisons, and laid siege to the 
capital, Talifoo. That town did not hold out 



long, and soon Kublai was in a position to 
return to his own state, leaving Uriangkadai 
with a considerable garrison in charge of 
Yunnan. That general, believing that his 
position would be improved by his resorting 
to an active offensive, carried the standard of 
his race against the many turbulent tribes in 
his neighborhood, and invaded Burmah, 
whose king, after one 'campaign, was glad to 
recognize the supremacy of the Mongols. 

The success and the boldness, which may 
have been considered temerity, of this cam- 
paign, raised up enemies to Kublai at the 
court of Karakoram, and the mind of his 
brother Mangu was poisoned against him by 
many who declared that Kublai aspired to 
complete independence. These designs so 
far succeeded, that in 1257 Mangu finally 
deprived Kublai of all his commands, and 
ordered him to proceed to Karakoram. At 
this harsh and unmerited treatment Kublai 
showed himself inclined to rebel and dispute 
his brother's authority. If he had done this, 
although the provocation was great, he would 
have confirmed the charges of his accusers, 
and a war would have broken out among the 
Mongols, which would probably have rent 
their power in twain in Eastern Asia. 

Proved his Innocence. 
But fortunately Yaochu was at hand to 
give prudent advice, and, after much hesita- 
tion, Kublai yielded to the impressive exhor- 
tations of his experienced and sagacious 
minister. He is reported to have addressed 
Kublai in the following terms: — "Prince! 
You are the brother of the Emperor, but you 
are not the less his subject. You cannot, 
without committing a crime, question his 
decisions, and, moreover, if you were to do 
so, it would only result in placing you in a 
more dangerous predicament, out of which 
you could hardly succeed in extricating your- 



THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



63 



self, as you are so far distant from the capital 
where your enemies seek to injure you. My 
advice is that you should send your family 
to Mangu, and by this step you vnW justify 
yourself and remove any suspicions there may 
be." 

Kublai adopted this Nvise course, and pro- 
ceeded in person to Karakoram, where he 
succeeded in proving his innocence and in 
discomfiting his enemies. It is said that 
Mangu was so affected at the mere sight of 
his brother that he at once forgave him with- 
out waiting for an explanation and reinstated 
him in all his offices. To ratify this reconcilia- 
tion Mangu proclaimed that he would take the 
field in person, and that Kublai should hold 
joint command with himself When he 
formed this resolution to proceed to China in 
person, he appointed his next brother, Arik- 
buka, to act as his lieutenant in Mongolia. 
It is necessary to recollect this arrangement 
as Mangu died during the campaign, and it 
led to the separation of the Chinese empire 
and the Mongolian, which were divided after 
that event between Kublai and Arikbuka. 

Rapid Movements. 
Mangu did not come to his resolution to 
prosecute the war with the Sungs any too 
soon, for Uriangkadai was beginning to find 
his isolated position not free from danger. 
Large as the army of that general was, and 
skilfully as he had endeavored to improve 
his position by strengthening the fortresses 
and recruiting from the warlike tribes of 
Yunnan, Uriangkadai found himself threat- 
ened by the collected armies of the Sungs, 
who occupied Szchuen with a large garrison 
and menaced the daring Mongol general 
with the whole of their power. There 
seems every reason to believe that if the 
Sungs had acted \vith only ordinary prompti- 
tude they might have destroyed this Mongol 



army long before any aid could have reached 
it from the north. Once Mangu had formed 
his resolution the rapidity of his movements 
left the Sungs little or no chance of attack- 
ing Uriangkadai. 

A Council of War. 

This campaign began in the winter of 
1257, when the troops were able to cross 
the frozen waters of the Hoangho, and the 
immense Mongol army was di\-ided into 
three bodies, while Uriangkadai was ordered 
to march north and effect a junction with his 
old chief Kublai in Szchuen. The principal 
fighting of the first year occurred in this part 
of China, and Mengu hastened there with 
another of his armies. The Sung garrison 
was large, and showed great courage and 
fortitude. The difficulty of the country and 
the strength of several of their fortresses 
seconded their efforts, and after two years' 
fighting the Mongols felt so doubtful of suc- 
cess that they held a council of war to decide 
whether they should retreat or continue to 
prosecute the struggle. 

It has been said that councils of war do 
not come to bold resolutions, but this must 
have been an exception, as it decided not to 
retreat, and to make one more determined 
effort to overcome the Chinese. The cam- 
paign of 1259 began with the siege of 
Hochau, a strong fortress, held by a valiant 
garrison and commander, and to whose aid 
a Chinese army under Luwenti was hasten- 
ing. The governor, Wangkien, offered a 
stout resistance, and Luwenti succeeded in 
harassing the besiegers, but the fall of the 
fortress appeared assured, when a new and 
more formidable defender arrived in the form 
of dysentery. The Mongol camp was rav- 
aged by this foe, Mangu himself died of the 
disease, and those of the Mongols who es- 
caped beat a hasty and disorderly retreat 



64 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



back to the north. Once more the Sungs 
obtained a brief respite. 

The death of Mangu threatened fresh dis- 
putes and strife among the Mongol royal 
family. Kublai was his brother's lawful 
heir, but Arikbuka, the youngest of the 
brothers, was in possession of Karakoram, 
and supreme throughout Mongolia. He 
was hostile to Kublai, and disposed to assert 
^all his rights and to make the most of his 
opportunities. 

A Generous Conqueror. 

No Great Khan could be proclaimed any- 
where save at Karakoram, and Arikbuka 
would not allow his brother to gain that 
place, the cradle of their race and dynasty, 
unless he could do so by force of arms. 
Kublai attempted to solve the difficulty by 
holding a grand council near his favorite 
city of Cambaluc, the modern Pekin, and 
he sent forth his proclamation to the Mon- 
gols as their Khan. But they refused to 
recognize one who was not elected in the 
orthodox fashion at Karakoram ; and Arik- 
buka not merely defied Kublai, but sum- 
moned his own kuriltai at Karakoram, where 
he was proclaimed Khakhan in the most 
formal manner and with all the accustomed 
ceremonies. Arikbuka was undoubtedly 
popular among the Mongols, while Kublai, 
who was regarded as half a Chinese on 
account of his education, had a far greater 
reputation south of the wall than north of it. 

Kublai could not tolerate the open defi- 
ance of his authority, and the contempt 
shown for what was his birthright, by Arik- 
buka; and in 1261 he advanced upon Kara- 
koram at the head of a large army. A 
single battle sufficed to dispose of Arik- 
buka's pretensions, and that prince was glad 
to find a place of refuge among the Kirghiz. 
Kublai proved himself a generous enemy. 



He sent Arikbuka his full pardon, he rein- 
stated him in his rank of prince, and he left 
him virtually supreme amongst the Mongol 
tribes. He retraced his steps to Pekin, fully 
resolved to become Chinese Emperor in 
reality, but prepared to waive his rights as 
Mongol Khan. Mangu Khan was the last 
of the Mongol rulers whose authority was 
recognized in both the east and the west, 
and his successor, Kublai, seeing that its old 
significance had departed, was fain to estab- 
lish his on a new basis in the fertile, ancient, 
and wide-stretching dominions of China. 

Before Kublai composed the difficulty with 
Arikbuka he .had resumed his operations 
against the Sungs, and even before Mangu 's 
death he had succeded in establishing some 
posts south of the Yangtsekiang, in the im- 
passability of which the Chinese fondly be- 
lieved. During the year of 1260 he laid 
siege to Wochow, the modern Wouchang, 
but he failed to make any impression on the 
fortress on this occasion, and he agreed to 
the truce which Litsong proposed. 

Terms of the Treaty. 

By the terms of this agreement Litsong- 
acknowledged himself a Mongol vassal, just 
as his ancestors had subjected themselves to 
to the Kins, paid a large tribute, and forbade 
his generals anywhere to attack the Mongols. 
The last stipulation was partly broken by an 
attack on the rear of Uriangkadai's corps, 
but no serious results followed, for Kublai 
was well satisfied with the manner in which 
the campaign terminated, as there is no 
doubt that his advance across the Yangtse- 
kiang had been precipitate, and he may have 
thought himself lucky to escape with the 
appearance of success and the conclusion of 
a gratifying treaty. It was with the reputa- 
tion gained by his nominal success, and by 
having made the Sungs his tributaries, that 




es 



66 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Kublai hastened northwards to settle his 
rivalry with Arikbuka. 

Having accomplished that object with 
complete success he decided to put an end 
to the Sung dynasty. The Chinese Em- 
peror, acting with strange fatuity, had given 
fresh cause of umbrage, and had provoked a 
war by many petty acts of discourtesy, cul- 
minating in the murder of the envoys of 
Kublia, sent to notify his proclamation as 
Great Khan of the Mongols. Probably the 
Sung ruler could not have averted war if 
he had shown the greatest forbearance and 
humility, but this cruel and inexcusable act 
precipitated the crisis and the extinction of 
his attenuated authority. If there was any 
delay in the movements of Kublai for the 
purpose of exacting reparation for this out- 
rage, it was due to his first having to arrange 
a difficulty that had arisen in his relations 
with the King of Corea. That potentate had 
long preserved the peace with his Mongol 
neighbors, and perhaps he would have re- 
mained a friend without any interruption, had 
not the Mongols done something which was 
construed as an infraction of Corean liberty. 

Uprising of the Coreans. 
The Corean love of independence took fire 
at the threatened diminution of their rights, 
they rose en masse in defence of their coun- 
try, and even the king, Wangtien, who had 
been well disposed to the Mongol rulers, 
declared that he could not continue the alli- 
ance, and placed himself at the head of his 
people. Seeing himself thus menaced with 
a costly war in a difficult country on the 
eve of a more necessary and hopeful contest, 
Kublai resorted to diplomacy. He addressed 
Wangtien in complimentary terms and dis- 
claimed all intention of injuring the Coreans 
with whom he wished to maintain friendly 
relations, but at the same time he pointed 



out the magnitude of his power and dilated 
on the extent of the Mongol conquests. 
Half by flattery and half by menace Kublai 
brought the Corean court to reason, and 
Wangtien again entered into bonds of alli- 
ance with Cambaluc and renewed his old 
oaths of friendship. 

Change of Rulers. 

In 1 263 Kublai issued his proclamation of 
war, calling on his generals "to assemble 
their troops, to sharpen their swords and 
their pikes, and to prepare their bows and 
arrows," for he intended to attack the Sungs 
by land and sea. The treason of a Chinese 
general in his service named Litan served to 
delay the opening of the campaign for a few 
weeks, but this incident was of no import- 
ance, as Litan was soon overthrown and 
executed. Brief as was the interval, it was 
marked by one striking and important event 
— the death of Litsong, who was succeeded 
by his nephew, Chowki, called the Emperor 
Toutsong. Litsong was not a wise ruler, 
but compared with many of his successors, 
he might be more accurately styled unfortu- 
nate than incompetent. 

Toutsong, and his weak and arrogant 
minister, Kiasseto, hastened to show that 
there were greater heights of folly than any 
to which he had attained. Acting on the 
advice of a renegade Sung general, well 
acquainted with the defences of Southern 
China, Kublai altered his proposed attack, 
and prepared for crossing the Yangtsekiang 
by first making himself supreme on its tribu- 
tary, the Han river. His earlier attack on 
Wouchang, and his compulsory rdtirement 
from that place had taught him the evil of 
making a premature attack. His object 
remained the same, but instead of marching 
direct to it across the Yangtsekiang he took 
the advice of the Sung general, and attacked 



THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



67 



the fortress of Sianyang on the Han river, 
with the object of making himself supreme 
on that stream, and wresting from the Sungs 
the last first-class fortress they possessed in 
the northwest. 

By the time all these preliminaries were 
completed and the Mongol army had fairly 
taken the field it was 1268, and Kublai sent 
60,000 of his best troops, with a large num- 
ber of auxiliaries, to lay siege to Sianyang, 
which was held by a large garrison and a 
resolute governor. The Mongol lines were 
drawn up round the town, and also its neigh- 
bor of Fanching, situated on the opposite 
bank of the river, with which communication 
was maiintained by several bridges, and the 
Mongols built a large fleet of fifty war junks, 
with which they closed the Han river and 
effectually prevented any aid being sent up it 
from Hankow or Wouchang. 

A Long Siege. 
Liuwen Hoan, the commandant of Sian- 
yang, was a brave man, and he commanded 
a numerous garrison and possessed supplies, 
as he said, to stand a ten years' siege. He 
repulsed all the assaults of the enemy, and, 
undaunted by his isolation, replied to the 
threats of the Mongols to give him no quar- 
ter if he persisted in holding out, by boasting 
that he would hang their traitor general in 
chains before his sovereign. The threats and 
vaunts of the combatants did not bring the 
siege any nearer to an end. The utmost 
that the Mongols could achieve was to pre- 
vent any provisions or reinforcements being 
thrown into the town. But on the fortress 
itself they made no impression. Things had 
gone on like this for three years, and the 
interest in the siege had begun to languish, 
when Kublai determined to make a supreme 
effort to carry the place, and at the same 
moment the Sung minister came to the con- 



clusion to relieve it at all hazards. It was 
evident that the crisis had arrived. 

The campaign of 1270 began with a 
heroic episode — the successful despatch of 
provisions into the besieged town, under the 
direction of two Chinese officers named 
Changkoua and Changchun, whose names 
deser\'e to be long remembered for their 
heroism. The flotilla was divided into two 
bodies, one composed of the fighting, the 
other of the storeships. The Mongols had 
made every preparation to blockade the 
river, but the suddenness and vigor of the 
Chinese attack surprised them, and, at first, 
the Chinese had the best of the day. But 
soon the Mongols recovered, an^J from their 
superior position threatened to overwhelm 
the assailing Chinese squadron. In this 
perilous moment Changchun, devoting him- 
self to death in the interest of his country, 
collected all his war-junks, and making a 
desperate attack on the Mongols, succeeded 
in obtaining sufficient, time to enable the 
storeships under Changkoua to pass safely 
up to Sianyang. The life of so great a hero 
as Changchun was, however, a heavy price 
to pay for the temporary relief of Sianyang, 
which was more closely besieged than ever 
after the arrival of Kublai in person. 

All Were Destroyed. 
The heroic deed of Changchun roused a 
spirit of worthy emulation in the bosom of 
his comrade, Changkoua, who having 
thrown the needed supplies into Sianyang 
was no longer wanted in that beleagured 
city. He determined to cut his way back 
with such forces as he could collect, and to 
take a part in the operations in progress for 
the relief of the towTi. At the head of the 
few remaining war-junks he succeeded in 
breaking his way through the chains and 
other barriers by which the Mongols sought 



68 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



to close the river, and for a brief space it 
seemed as if he would evade or vanquish 
such of the Mongol ships as were on the 
alert. But the Mongols kept good watch, 
and as Changkoua refused to surrender he 



lamentations, and buried beside that of 
Changchun, whose corpse had been rescued 
from the river. 

After this affair the Mongols pushed the 
siege with greater vigor, and instead of con- 




A MOVABLE COOK-SHOP. 



and his small band were destroyed to the 
last man. 

After the brief struggle was ended the 
Mongols sent the body of Changkoua into 
Sianyang, where it was received with loud 



centrating their efforts on Sianyang they 
attacked both that fortress and Fanching 
from all sides. The Mongol commander, 
Alihaya, sent to Persia, where the Mongols 
were also supVeme, for engineers trained in 



THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



69 



the working of mangonels or catapults, 
engines capable of throwing stones of i6o- 
Ibs. weight with precision for a considerable 
distance. By their aid the bridges across 
the river were first destroyed, and then the 
walls of Sianyang were so severely damaged 
that an assault appeared to be feasible. 

Letter from the Mongol Emperor. 

But Fanching had suffered still more from 
the Mongol bombardment, and Alhaya, 
therefore, attacked it first. The garrison 
offered a determined resistance, and the fight- 
ing was continued in the streets. Not a 
man of the garrison escaped, and when the 
slaughter was over the Mongols found that 
they had only acquired possession of a mass 
of ruins. But they had obtained the key to 
Sianyang, the weakest flank of which had 
been protected by Fanching, and the Chinese 
garrison was so discouraged that Liuwen 
Hoan, despairing of relief, agreed to accept 
the terms offered by Kublai. Those terms 
were expressed in the following noble letter 
from the Mongol Emperor: 

"The generous defence you have made 
during five years covers you with glory. It 
is the duty of every' faithful subject to serve 
his prince at the expense of his life, but in 
the straits to which you are reduced, your 
strength exhausted, deprived of succor and 
without hope of receiving any, would it be 
reasonable to sacrifice the lives of so many 
brave men out of sheer obstinacy? Submit 
in good faith to us and no harm shall come 
to you. We promise you still more; and 
that is to provide each and all of you with 
honorable employment. You shall have no 
grounds of discontent, for that we pledge 
you our Imperial word." 

It will not excite surprise that Liuwen 
Hoan, who had been practically speaking 
deserted by his own sovereign, should have 



accepted the magnanimous terms of his con- 
queror, and become as loyal a lieutenant of 
Kublai as he had shown himself to be of the 
Sung Toutsong. The death of that ruler 
followed soon afterwards, but as the real 
power had been in the hands of the Minister 
Kiassetao, no change took place in the policy 
or fortunes of the Sung kingdom. 

At this moment Kublai succeeded in 
obtaining the services cf Bayan, a Mongol 
general who had acquired a great reputa- 
tion under Khulagu in Persia. Bayan, whose 
name signifies the noble or the brave, and 
who was popularly known as Bayan of the 
Hundred Eyes, because he was supposed to 
see everything, was one of the greatest mili- 
tary leaders of his age and race. He was 
entrusted with the command of the main 
army, and under him served, it is interesting 
to state, Liuwen Hoan. Several towns were 
captured after more or less resistence, and 
Bayan bore down with all his force on the 
triple cities of Hankow, Wouchang and 
Hanyang. Bayan concentrated all his 
efforts on the capture of Hanyang, while the 
Mongol navy under Artchu compelled the 
Chinese fleet to take refuge under the walls 
of Wouchang. None of these towns offered 
a very stubborn resistance, and Bayan had 
the satisfaction of receiving their surrender 
one after another. Leaving Alihaya with 
40,CXX) men to guard these places Bayan 
marched with the rest of his forces on the 
Sung capital, Lingan or Hangchow, the cele- 
brated Kincsay of mediaeval travellers. 

The National Defence. 
The retreating fleet and army of the Sungs 
carried with them fear of the Mongols, and 
tlie ever-increasing representation of their 
extraordinary power and irresistible arms. 
In this juncture public opinion compelled 
Kiassetao to take the lead, and he called 



70 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



upon all the subjects of the Sung to contri- 
bute arms and money for the purpose of 
national defence. But his own incompe- 
tence in directing this national movement 
deprived it of half its force and of its natural 
chances of success. Bayan's advance was 
rapid. Many towns opened their gates in 
terror or admiration of his name, and Liu- 
wen Hoan was frequently present to assure 
them that Kublai was the most generous of 
masters, and that there was no wiser course 
than to surrender to his generals. 

"A Little Too Late." 
The Mongol forces at last reached the 
neighborhood of the Sung capital where 
Kiassetao had succeeded in collecting an 
army of 130,000 men, but many of them 
were ill-trained, and the splendor of the 
camp provided a poor equivalent for the 
want of arms and discipline among the men. 
Kiassetao seems to have been ignorant of 
the danger of his position, for he sent an 
arrogant summons to the Mongols to retire, 
stating also that he would grant a peace 
based on the Yangtsekiang as a boundary. 
Bayan's simple reply to this notice was: "If 
you had really aimed at peace, you would 
have made this proposition before we crossed 
the Kiang. Now that we are the masters of 
it, it is a little too late. Still if you sin- 
cerely desire it, come and see me in person, 
and we will discuss the necessary condi- 
tions." Very few of the Sung lieutenants 
offered a protracted resistance, and even the 
isolated cases of devotion were confined to 
the official class who were more loyal than 
the mass of the people. 

Chao Maofa and his wife Yongchi put an 
end to their existence sooner than give up 
their charge at Chichow, but the garrison 
accepted the terms of the Mongols without 
compunction and without thinking of their 



duty. Kiassetao attempted to resist the 
Mongol advance at Kien Kang, the modern 
Nankin, but after an engagement on land and 
water the Sungs were driven back, and their 
fleet only escaped destruction by retiring pre- 
cipitately to the sea. After this success 
Nankin surrendered without resistance, 
although its governor was a valiant and ap- 
parently a capable man. He committed 
suicide sooner than surrender, and among 
his papers was found a plan of campaign, 
after perusing which Bayan exclaimed, "Is 
it possible that the Sungs possessed a man 
capable of giving such prudent counsel ? If 
they had paid heed to it should we ever have 
reached this spot?" 

After this success Bayan pressed on with 
increased rather than diminished energy, and 
the Sung Emperor and his court fled from 
the capital. Kublai showed an inclination to 
temporize and to negotiate, but Bayan would 
not brook any delay. " To relax your grip 
even for a moment on an enemy whom you 
have held by the throat for a hundred years 
would only be to give him time to recover 
his breath, to restore his forces, and in the 
end to cause us an infinity of trouble." 

Repulsed with Heavy Loss. 
The Sung fortunes showed some slight 
symptoms of improving when Kiassetao was 
disgraced, and a more competent general 
was found in the person of Chang Chikia. 
But the Mongols never abated the vigor of 
their attack or relaxed in their efforts to cut 
off all possibility to succor from the Sung 
capital. When Chang Chikia hoped to im- 
prove the position of his side by resuming 
the offensive he was destined to rude disap- 
pointment. Making an attack on the strong 
position of the Mongols at Nankin he was 
repulsed with heavy loss. The Sung fleet 
was almost annihilated and 700 war-junks 




71 



72 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



were taken by the victors. After this the 
Chinese never dared to face the Mongols 
again on the water. The victory was due to 
the courage and capacity of Artchu. 

Bayan now returned from a campaign in 
Mongolia to resume the chief conduct of the 
war, and he signalized his return by the cap- 
ture of Changchow. At this town he is said 
to have sanctioned a massacre of the Chi- 
nese troops, but the facts are veiled in uncer- 
tainty; and Marco Polo declares that this 
was only done after the Chinese had treach- 
erously cut up the Mongol garrison. 
Alarmed by the fall of Changchow the Sung 
ministers again sued for peace, sending an 
imploring letter to this effect : — " Our ruler 
is young and cannot be held responsible for 
the differences that have arisen between the 
peoples. Kiassetao the guilty one has been 
punished ; give us peace and we shall be 
better friends in the future." 

The Surrender. 

Bayan's reply was severe and uncompro- 
mising. " The age of your prince has 
nothing to do with the question between us. 
The war must go on to its legitimate end. 
Furthur argument is useless." The defences 
of the Sung capital were by this time re- 
moved, and the unfortunate upholders of 
that dynasty had no option save to come to 
terms with the Mongols. Marco Polo 
describes Kincsay as the most opulent city 
of the world, but it was in no position to 
stand a siege. The Empress-Regent acting 
for her son sent in her submission to Bayan, 
and agreed to proceed to the court of the 
conqueror. She abdicated for herself and 
family all the pretensions of their rank, and 
she accepted the favors of the Mongol with 
due humility, saying, " The Son of Heaven 
(thus giving Kublai the correct Imperial 
style) grants you the favor of sparing your 



life; it is just to thank him for it and to pay 
him homage." 

Bayan made a triumphal entry into the 
city, while the Emperor Kongtsong was sent 
off to Pekin. The majority of the Sung 
courtiers and soldiers came to terms with 
Bayan, but a few of the more desperate or 
faithful endeavored to uphold the Sung cause 
in Southern China under the general, Chang 
Chikia. Two of the Sung princes were sup- 
ported by this commander and one was pro- 
claimed by the empty title of emperor. 
Capricious fortune rallied to their side for a 
brief space, and some of the Mongol detach- 
ments which had advanced too far or with 
undue precipitancy were cut up and de- 
stroyed. 

Capture of Canton. 

The Mongols seem to have thought that 
the war was over, and the success of Chang 
Chikia's efforts may have been due to their 
negligence rather than to his vigor. As 
soon as they realized that there remained a 
flickering flame of opposition among the 
supporters of the Sungs they sent two 
armies, one into Kwantung and the other 
into Fuhkien, and their fleet against Chang 
Chikia. Desperate as was his position, that 
officer still exclaimed, " If heaven has not 
resolved to overthrow the Sungs, do you 
think that even now it cannot restore their 
ruined throne?" but his hopes were dashed 
to the ground by the capture of Canton, and 
the expulsion of all his forces from the main- 
land. One puppet emperor died and then 
Chang proclaimed another as Tiping. The 
last supporters of the cause took refuge on 
the island of Tai in the Canton estuary, 
where they hoped to maintain their position. 
The position was strong and the garrison 
was numerous ; but the Mongols were not 
to be frightened by appearances. Their fleet 



THE MONGOL CONQUEST OF CHINA. 



73 



bore down on the last Sung stronghold with 
absolute confidence, and, although the Chi- 
nese resisted for three days and showed great 
gallantry, they were overwhelmed by the 
superior engines as well as the numbers of 
the Mongols. 

Chang Chikia with a few ships succeeded 
in escaping from the fray, but the ^mperor's 
vessel was less fortunate, and finding that 
escape was impossible, Lousionfoo, one of 
the last Sung ministers, seized the emperor 
in his arms and jumped overboard with him. 
Thus died Tiping, the last Chinese Emperor 
of the Sungs, and with him expired that ill- 
fated dynasty. Chang Chikia renewed the 
struggle with aid received from Tonquin, but 
when he was leading a forlorn hope against 
Canton he was caught in a typhoon and he 
and his ships were wrecked. His invocation 
to heaven, " I have done everj^thing I could 
to sustain on the throne the Sung dynasty. 
When one prince died I caused another to 
be proclaimed emperor. He also has per- 
ished, and I still live ! Oh, heaven, shall I 
be acting against thy desires if I sought to 
place a new prince of this family on the 
throne ?" sounded the dirge of the race he 
had served so well. 



Thus was the conquest of China by the 
Mongols completed. After half a century 
of warfare the kingdom of the Sungs shared 
the same fate as its old rival the Kin, and 
Kublai had the personal satisfaction of com- 
pleting the work begun by his grandfather 
Genghis seventy years before. Of all the 
Mongol triumphs it was the longest in being 
attained. The Chinese of the north and of 
the south resisted with extraordinary powers 
of endurance the whole force of the greatest 
conquering race Asia ever saw. They were 
not skilled in war and their generals were 
generally incompetent, but they held out 
with desperate courage and obstinacy long 
after other races would have given in. 

The student of history will not fail to see 
in these facts striking testimony of the extra- 
ordinary resources of China, and of the 
capacity of resistance to even a vigorous 
conqueror possessed by its inert masses. 
Even the Mongols did not conquer until 
they had obtained the aid of a large section 
of the Chinese nation, or before Kublai had 
shown that he intended to prove himself a 
worthy Emperor of China and not merely a 
great Khan of the Mongol Hordes, a bar- 
barous conqueror and not a wise ruler. 



CHAPTKR IV. 
THE FIRST MANCHU RULER. 



THE history of China from this time 
on presents a succession of wars 
and conquests, and rising and 
faUing dynasties. The Mongol 
dynasty gave way to the Ming, and this in 
turn went into decline. In the first half of 
the 17th century the country was conquered 
by the Manchus who established the present 
reigning Tsin dynasty. 

How a small Tartar tribe succeeded after 
fifty years of war in imposing its yoke on 
the skeptical, freedom-loving, and intensely 
national millions of China will always remain 
one of the enigmas of history. The military 
genius of Wou Sankwei, the widely prevalent 
dissensions among the people, and the effete- 
ness of the reigning house on the one hand, 
and the superior discipline, sagacity, and 
political knowledge of the Tartars on the 
other, are some of the principal causes of the 
Manchu success that at once suggest them- 
selves to the mind. 

But in no other case has a people, boldly 
resisting to the end and cheered by occasional 
flashes of victory, been subjected after more 
than a whole generation of war, with a des- 
pised an truly insignificant enemy in the 
durable form in which the Manchus trod the 
Chinese under their heel, and secured for 
themselves all the perquisites and honor 
accruing to the governing class in one of the 
richest and largest empires under the sun. 

The Chinese were made to feel all the 

bitterness of subjection by the imposition of 

a hated badge of servitude, and that they 

proved unable to succeed under thi.i aggra- 

74 



vation of circumstances, greatly increases the 
wonder with which the Manchu conquest 
must ever be regarded. But the most signifi- 
cant feature of the Manchu conquest is that 
it provides a durable proof of the possibility 
of China being conquered by a small but 
determined body of men. Once Wou Sank- 
wei had opened the door to the foreigner, the 
end proved easy, and was never in doubt. 
The Chinese were subjugated with extraor- 
dinary ease, and the only testimony to their 
undiminished vitality has been the quiet and 
silent process by which the conquerors have 
been compelled to assimilate themselves to 
the conquered. 

Lives and Property Respected. 

While the Manchu generals and armies 
were establishing their power in southern 
China the young Emperor Chuntche, under 
the direction of his prudent uncle, the regent 
Ama Wang, was setting up at Pekin the 
central power of a ruling dynasty. In doing 
so little or no opposition was experienced at 
the hands of the Chinese, who showed that 
they longed once more for a settled govern- 
ment; and this acquiescence on the part of 
the Chinese people in their authority no 
doubt induced the Manchu leaders to adopt 
a far more conciliatory and lenient policy 
towards the Chinese than would otherwise 
have been the case. Ama Wang gave 
special orders that the lives and property of 
all who surrendered to his lieutenants should 
be scrupulously respected. 

This moderation was only departed from 



THE FIRST MANCHU RULER. 



75 



in the case of some rebels in Shensi, who, 
after accepting, repudiated the Manchu 
authority, and laid close siege to the chief 
town of Singan, which held a garrison of 
only 3,000 Manchus. The commandant 
wished to make his position secure by mas- 
sacring the Chinese of the town, but he was 
deterred from taking this extreme step by 
the representations of a Chinese officer, who, 
binding himself for the good faith of his 
countrymen, induced him to enrol them in 
the ranks of the garrison. They proved 
faithful and rendered excellent service in the 
siege; and when a relieving Manchu army 
came from Pekin the rebels were quickly 
scattered and pursued with unflagging bitter- 
ness to their remotest hiding places. 

A Bride Carried Off. 

In the adjoining province of Shansi 
another insurrection temporarily upset Man- 
chu authority, but it was brought about by 
an outrage of a Manchu prince. In 1649 
Ama Wang sent an embassy to the principal 
khan of the Mongols, with whom it was the 
first object of the Manchus to maintain the 
closest friendly relations, in order to arrange 
a marriage between Chuntche and a Mongol 
princess. The mission was entrusted to a 
Manchu prince, who took up his residence 
at Taitong, in Shansi, a place still held by a 
Chmese garrison under an officer named 
Kiangtsai. The Manchu prince and his 
attendants behaved in a most arrogant and 
overbearing manner, and at last their conduct 
culminated in an outrage which roused the 
indignation of the Chinese populace, and 
converted a loyal city into a hostile centre. 

The daughter of one of the most influen- 
tial citizens of Taitong was being led through 
the streets in honor of her wedding day when 
several of the ambassador's associates broke 
into the procession and carried off the bride. 



The Chinese were shocked at this outrage, 
and clamored for the prompt punishment of 
its perpetrators. The governor, Kiangtsai, 
supported the demand of the citizens, but, 
unfortunately, the Manchu prince was indif- 
ferent to the Chinese indignation, and made 
light of his comrades' conduct. Then the 
Chinese resolved to enact a terrible ven- 
geance, and Kiangtsai organized a move- 
ment to massacre every Manchu in the 
place. He carried out his intention to the 
letter, and the Manchu prince was the only 
one to escape, thanks to the swiftness of his 
horse. 

.Became a Rebel. 

The inevitable consequence of this act 
was that Kiangtsai passed from a loyal ser- 
vant into a rebel. Ama Wang might have 
condoned his offence out of consideration 
for the provocation, but Kiangtsai, thinking 
of his own safety, decided that there was no 
course open to him save to pose as the 
enemy of the Manchu. He seems to have 
done everything that prudence suggested to 
strengthen his position, and he showed the 
grasp of a statesman when he turned to the 
Mongols and sought to obtain their alliance 
by begging them to restore the Empire, 
and to assert their national superoritj' over 
the Manchus. His pohcy at first promised 
to be signally successful, as the Mongol 
chief entered into his plans and promised to 
render him all the aid in his power. 

But his hopes on tliis score proved short- 
lived, for Ama Wang, realizing the situation 
at a glance, nipped the alliance between 
Kiangtsai and the Mongols in the bud by 
sending a special embassy with exception- 
ally costly gifts to the Mongol camp. The 
cupidity of the Mongols prevailed, and they 
repudiated %vith scant ceremony the conven- 
tion they had just concluded with Kiangtsai. 



76 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Then the Manchus bore down from all sides 
on Kiangstai, who had assumed the title of 
Prince of Han. He had gathered round 
him such a considerable force that he did 
not hesitate to march out to meet the Man- 
chus, and he trusted for victory to a skil- 
fully-devised artifice as much as to superior 
numbers. He sent forward, under a small 
guard, a number of wagons containing can- 
isters of gun-powder, and when the Tartar 
cavalry saw this baggage train approaching 
they at once concluded that it was a valu- 
able prize, and pounced down upon it. The 
Chinese guard having fired the train took to 
flight, and the Manchus lost many men in 
the ensuing explosion, but the most serious 
consequence was that it threw the whole 
Manchu army into confusion, and thus 
enabled Kiangtsai to attack it at a disad- 
vantage, and to overthrow it with a loss of 
15,000 men. In a second battle he con- 
firmed the verdict of the first, and it is 
almost unnecessary to add that the reputa- 
tion of Kiangtsai was raised to a high point, 
and that the Manchus trembled on the 
throne. If the Mongols had only joined 
him, it is impossible to say what might not 
have happened. 

Takes the Field in Person. 

So grave did the possible consequences of 
these defeats appear that Ama Wang 
decided to take the field in person, and to 
proceed against Kiangtsai with the very best 
troops he could collect. Matters had 
reached such a pass that, if a general insur- 
rection were to be averted, the Taitong ris- 
ing would have to be put down without 
delay. Ama Wang resolved to strike 
promptly, yet he had the prudence to adopt 
Fabian tactics in front of an opponent whose 
confidence had been raised by two successes 
in the field. The opposing armies each 



exceeded 100,000 men, and Kiangtsai was 
as eager to force on a battle as Ama Wang 
was to avoid it. 

During two months there was much man- 
oeuvring and counter-manoeuvring, and at 
last Kiangtsai, apprehensive of losing Tai- 
tong and finding his supplies failing, retired 
into that place, flattering himself that an 
enemy who feared to attack him in the open 
would never venture to assail him in a fort- 
ress. But the object of Ama Wang was 
accomplished, and he proceeded to invest 
the place on all sides. Then Kiangtsai 
realized his error, and saw that he had no 
alternative between fighting at a disadvan- 
tage to cut his way out and remaining 
besieged until the want of supplies should 
compel him to surrender. He chose the 
more valiant course, and haranguing his 
men in the following words he led them out 
to assault the Manchua lines. "I will not 
lose a moment in exposing to you the dan- 
ger which threatens us, it must be evident to 
yourselves. Your valor alone can avail to 
secure safety for us all. Success is not 
impossible, but it will require a great effort 
of valor on your part. Whom have we to 
fight after all? Men already weakened and 
discouraged by two defeats, and who so 
much feared a third battle that all our efforts 
to bring them to an engagement failed. 
The part which alone remains for us is not 
doubtful. If we must perish, let it be with 
arms in our hands. Is it not better to sell 
our lives like brave men than to fall inglori- 
ously under the steel of the Tartars?" 

A Terrible Onslaught. 
Such was the impetuosity of the Chinese 
onslaught that after four hours' fighting the 
Manchus were driven from their first 
entrenchments. The Chinese were as much 
elated as their adversaries were depressed by 




o 



77 



78 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



this initial success, and counted on victory. 
A single incident served to change the for- 
tune of the day. Kiangtsai placed himself 
at the head of his men to lead them to the 
attack of the remaining Manchu positions 
when he was struck in the head by an 
arrow. The death of their leader created a 
panic among the Chinese troops, who, 
abandoning all they had won, fled in irre- 
trievable confusion back to Taitong, where 
they were more closely beleaguered than 
before by the Manchus. The discouraged 
and disorganized Chinese offered but a feeble 
resistance, and in a very short time the 
Manchus were masters of Taitong; and the 
most formidable Chinese gathering which 
had, up to that time, threatened the new 
dynasty was broken up. The Taitong insur- 
gents acquired all their strength from the 
personal genius and ascendancy of Kiang- 
tsai, and with his death they collapsed. 

" King of the West." 
In the province of Szchuen a Chinese 
leader of very different character and capa- 
city from Kiangtsai set up an administra- 
tion. He distinguished himself by his brut- 
ality, and although he proclaimed himself 
Si Wang, or King of the West, he was exe- 
crated by those who were nominally his sub- 
jects. Among the most heinous of his 
crimes was his invitation to literary men to 
come to his capital for employment, and 
when they had assembled to the number of 
30,000, to order them to be massacred. He 
dealt in a similar manner with 3,000 of his 
courtiers, because one of them happened to 
omit a portion of his full titles. His 
excesses culminated in the massacre of 
Chentu, when 600,000 innocent persons are 
said to have perished. 

Even allowing for the eastern exaggera- 
tion of numbers, the crimes of this inhuman 



monster have rarely, if ever, been surpassed. 
His rage or appetite for destruction was not 
appeased by human sacrifices. He made 
equal war on the objects of nature and the 
works of man. He destroyed cities, levelled 
forests, and overthrew all the public monu- 
ments that embellished his province. In the 
midst of his excesses he was told that a 
Manchu army had crossed the frontier, but 
he resolved to crown his inhuman career by 
a deed unparalleled in the records of his- 
tory, and what is more extraordinary, he suc- 
ceeded in inducing his followers to execute 
his commands. His project was to massacre 
all the women in attendance on his army, 
and his motives can only be described in his 
own words. 

Murder by the Wholesale. 

"The province of Szchuen is no more 
than a mass of ruins and a vast desert. I 
have wished to signalize my vengeance, and 
at the same time to detach you from the 
wealth which it offered, in order that your 
ardor for the conquest of the Empire, which 
I have sttU every hope of attaining, should 
not flag. The execution of my project is 
easy, but one obstacle which might prevent 
or delay the conquest, I meditate, disturbs 
my mind. An effeminate heart is not well 
suited to great enterprises ; the only passion 
heroes should cherish is that glory. All of 
you have wives, and the greater number of 
you have several in your company. These 
women can only prove a source of embar- 
rassment in camp, and especially during 
marches or other expeditions demanding 
celerity of movement. Have you any appre- 
hension lest you should not find elsewhere 
wives as charming and as accomplished ? In 
a very short time I promise you others who 
will give us every reason to congratulate 
ourselves for having made the sacrifice which 



THE FIRST MANXHU RULER. 



79 



I propose to you. Let us, therefore, get rid 
of the embarrassment which these women 
cause us. I feel that the only way for me 
to persuade you in this matter is by setting 
you an example. To-morrow, without 
further delay, I will lead my wives to the 
public parade. See that you are all present, 
and cause to be published, under most severe 
penalties, the order to all your soldiers to 
assemble there at the same time, each accom- 
panied by his wives. The treatment I 
accord to mine shall be the general law. " 

Killed by an Arrow. 

When the assembly took place Si Wang 
slew his wives, and his followers, seized with 
an extreme frenzy, followed his example. It 
is said that as many as 4(X),ooo women were 
slain that day, and Si Wang, intoxicated by 
his success in inducing his followers to exe- 
cute his inhuman behests, believed that he had 
nothing to fear at the hands of the Manchus. 
But he was soon undeceived, for in one of the 
earliest affairs at the outposts he was killed 
by an arrow. His power at once crumbled 
away, and Szchuen passed under the 
authority of the Manchus. 

The conquest of Szchuen paved the way 
for the recovery of the position that had 
been lost in Southern China, and close seige 
was laid to the city of Canton, where the 
Chinese leaders had collected all their forces. 
The Manchus adopted the astute course of 
giving the highest nominal commands to 
Chinese, and consequently many of their 
countrymen surrendered to them more 
readily than if they had been foreigners. 
One officer, named Kiuchessa, who is said to 
have been a Christian, remained faithful to 
the Ming prince of Southern China until his 
execution^ and he refused to accept a pardon 
as the price of his apostacy. 

Outside Canton the Manchus carried 



everjiihing before them, and that city itself 
at last was captured, after what passed for a 
stubborn resistance. Canton was given over 
to pillage, and the sack continued for ten 
days. The Ming pretender fled to Yunnan, 
and afterwards into Burmah, where he en- 
joyed shelter for seven years. At this 
moment of success Ama Wang, the wise 
regent, died. His last years had been 
full of anxiet)'' from the dangers that had 
arisen in the path of the Manchus, but he 
lived long enough to see it much allayed, 
and the most serious perils removed. He 
gave all his time and energy to improving his 
nephew in the work of government, and to 
looking after his interests. Towards the 
Chinese he assumed an attitude of modera- 
tion, and even of studied conciliation, which 
produced a beneficial effect on the public 
mind. To this attitude, as well as to the 
successful measures of his government, must 
be attributed the success he experienced in 
tranquillizing the country. He was not the 
first nor the last of the great rulers and 
statesmen which the present imperial family 
of China has produced in the last three cen- 
turies. 

Choosing an Emperor. 
Some of the elder princes of the Manchu 
family attempted to succeed to his position, 
but the principal ministers and courtiers com- 
bined together and insisted that the Emperor 
Chuntche was old enough to rule for him- 
self, and that they would not recognize any 
other master. This extreme step settled the 
question, and Chuntche assumed the reins of 
government. He at once devoted his atten- 
tion to administrative reforms. It is said 
that corruption had begun to sway the public 
examinations, and that Chuntche issued a 
special edict, enjoining the examiners to give 
fair awards and to mciintain the purity of the 



80 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



service. But several examiners had to be 
executed and others banished beyond the 
Wall before matters were placed on a satis- 
factory basis. He also adopted the astro- 
nomical system in force in Europe, and he 
appointed the priest Adam Schaal head of 
the Mathematical Board at Pekin. 

But his most important work was the in- 
stitution of the Grand Council, which still 
exists, and which is the supreme power 
under the Emperor of the country. It is 
composed of only four members — two 
Manchus and two Chinese — who alone pos- 
sess the privilege of personal audience with 
the Emperor whenever they may demand it. 
They are far higher in rank than any member 
of the Six Tribunals or the Board of Censors, 
whose wide liberty of expression is limited 
to written memorials. 

As this act gave the Chinese an equal 
place with the Manchus in the highest body 
of the Empire it was exceedingly welcome, 
and explains, among other causes, the popu- 
larity and stability of the Manchu dynasty. 
When allotting Chuntche his place among 
the founders of Manchu greatness allowance 
must be made for this wise and far-reaching 
measure, the consequences of which cannot 
be accurately gauged. 

Embassies from Europe. 
Another interesting event in the reign of 
Chuntche, was the arrival at Pekin of more 
than one embassy from European States. 
The Dutch and the Russians can equally 
claim the honor of having had an envoy 
resident in the Chinese capital during the 
year 1656, but in neither case could the 
result be described as altogether satisfactory. 
After some delay and difficulty and on 
making the required concessions to the 
dignity of the Emperor — which means the 
performance of the Kotao, or making the 



prostration by beating the ground with the 
forehead — the Dutch merchants, who were 
sent as envoys, were admitted to audience, 
but although they bribed freely, the only 
favor they obtained was the right to present 
tribute at stated intervals, which was a 
doubtful gain. The Emperor restricted their 
visit to once in every eight years, and then 
they were not to exceed one hundred 
persons, of whom only twenty might pro- 
ceed to the capital. 

An Official from Siberia. 

The most interesting circumstance in con- 
nection with this embassy is that it provided 
Nieuhofif, the secretary, to the envoys, with 
the material for a description of Pekin at a 
time when it had not recovered from the 
effects of the wars we have described. The 
conquest of Siberia by the Cossack Irmak 
had brought the Russians into immediate 
contact with the Chinese, and it was held 
desirable to establish some sort of diplomatic 
relations with them. An officer was accord- 
ingly sent from Siberia to Pekin, but as he 
persistently refused to perform the Kotao, he 
was denied audience, and returned without 
having accomplished anything. The com- 
mencement of diplomatic relations between 
Russia and China was therefore postponed to 
a later day. 

With Tibet, Chuntche succeeded in estab- 
lishing relations of a specially cordial nature, 
which preserve their force to the present 
time. In 1653 he received a visit from the 
Grand Lama of Lhasa, and he conferred 
upon him the title of Dalai, or Ocean Lama, 
because his knowledge was as deep and pro- 
found as the ocean. It says much for the 
influence of China, and the durability of the 
tie thus established, that the supreme Lama 
of Lhasa, has been generally known by this 
title ever since its being conferred on him. 



THE FIRST MAXCHU RULER. 



81 



During the last years of the reign of 
Chuntche, the gro\\'th of the naval power of 
Koshinga, son of Ching Chelong, attracted 
considerable attention. When Canton fell, 
many Chinese escaped in their junks, and as 
the Manchus had no fleet they were unable 
to follow the fugitives, and the Chinese 
derived fresh confidence from this security at 
sea. The daring and activity of Koshinga 
became the solace and admiration of his 
countr}-men. He first established his head- 
quarters on the island of Tsong-ming, at the 
mouth of the river Yangtsekiang, and had he 
been content with operations along the sea- 
coast, he might have enjoyed immunit}- from 
attack, and an indefinite scope for plunder 
for many years. But his ambition led him 
to take an exaggerated view of his power, 
and, by attempting too much, he jeopardized 
all he had gained, and finally curtailed his 
sphere of enterprise. 

The Opportunity Lost. 

In 1656, he sailed up the river to attack 
Nankin, and his enterprise was so far well- 
timed that the Manchu garrison was then 
very weak, and the chances of a popular 
rising in his favor were also at their highest 
point. But he seems to have relied for suc- 
ces mainly on the latter contingency, and in 
the desire to spare his men, he postponed his 
attack until the favorable opportunity had 
passed away, and the Manchu garrison being 
strongly reinforced, the townspeople were ! 
both afraid to revolt, and Koshinga to deliver j 
his attack. When at last he nerved himself 
to assault the place, the Manchus anticipated 
his intention by delivering a night attack 
upon his camp, which was completely suc- 
cessful. Three thousand of his best men were 
slain, and Koshinga and the remainder were 
only too glad to seek shelter in their ships. 

The repulse at Nankin destroyed all 
6 



Koshinga's dreams of posing as a national 
deliverer. After this episode he could only 
hope to be powerful as a rover of the sea, 
and the head of a piratical confederacy. 

In 1 66 1, the health of Chuntche became 
so bad that it was evident to his courtiers 
that his end was drawing near, although he 
was little more than thirty years of age. 
Authorities differ as to the precise cause of 
his death. Philippe Couplet says that it was 
small-pox, but the more general version was 
that it was grief at the death of his favorite 
wife and infant son. Probably his domestic 
aflfliction aggravated his malady, and nullified 
the efforts of his physicians. On his death- 
bed he selected as his successor the second 
of his sons, who afterwards became famous 
as the Emperor Kanghi, and the choice 
proved an exceedingly fortunate one. 

The reign of Chuntche was specially 
remarkable as witnessing the consolidation 
of Manchu authority, the introduction of the 
Chinese to a share in the administration, and 
the adoption of a policy of increased moder- 
ation towards the subject people. 

Engraved on Iron Tablets. 

When Kanghi was placed on the throne 
he was only eight years old, and the admin- 
istration was consequently entrusted to four 
of the chief and most experienced officials. 
These co-regents devoted themselves to their 
duty with energy and intelligence. Their 
first act was to impeach the principal 
eunuchs who had acquired power under 
Chuntche, and to issue a decree prohibiting 
the employment of any of that unfortunate 
class in the public serv'ice. This law was 
engraved on iron tablets weighing more than 
1,000 pounds, and the Manchu rulers have 
ever since remained faithful to the pledge 
taken by these Manchu regents in the name 
of the /oung Emperor Kanghi. 



82 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



The very first year of Kanghi's reign wit- 
nessed the zenith and the fall of the power of 
of Koshinga. After the failure of his attack 
on Nankin, Koshinga fixed his designs on 



to carry out this plan, Koshinga had to oust, 
not the aboriginal tribes who held most of 
the interior of the island, but the Dutch 
traders who had seized most of the ports and 




SENDING PRAYERS TO HEAVEN BY BURNING THEM. 



the island of Formosa, which offered, as it 
seemed, the best vantage ground for a naval 
confederacy such as he controlled. In order 



had fortified them. Koshinga found willing 
allies in the Chinese emigrants who had fled 
from the mainland to Formosa. They rose 



THE FIRST MANCHU RULER. 



83 



up against the Dutch, and before they were ' 
subdued the warlike aboriginal tribes had to 
be recruited against them. 

But the Dutch, who had been on the 
island for 3 5 years, flattered themselves that 
they could hold their own, and that it might 
not be impossible to live on friendly 
terms with Koshinga. They themselves had 
acquired their place in Formosa by the retire- 
ment of the Japanese from Taiwan, in 1624, 
when the Dutch, driven away by the Portu- 
guese from Macao, sought a fresh site for 
their proposed settlement in the Pescadore 
group, and eventually established themselves 
at Fort Zealand. The Dutch seem to have 
been lulled into a sense of false security by 
their success over the Chinese settlers, and 
to have believed that Koshinga was not as 
formidable as he was considered to be. 

End of a Remarkable Career. 

Koshinga did not strike until all his plans 
were completed, and then he laid siege to 
Fort Zealand. The Dutch fought well, but 
they were overpowdered, and lost their pos- 
sessions, which passed to the Chinese adven- 
turer. Koshinga assumed the style of King 
of Formosa, but he did not long survive this 
triumph. In the year after this conquest he 
died of a malady which was aggravated by 
resentment at the insubordination of his eldest 
son, and thus terminated his remarkable 
career when he was no more than thirty- 
eight. The Chinese province of Formosa 
endured for another twenty years, but its 
spirit and formidableness departed with 
Koshinga. In his relations with the English 
and Dutch merchants he showed all the pre- 
judice and narrow-mindedness of his country- 
men. 

One of the earliest incidents in the reign 
of Kanghi was an agitation got up by some 
of the most bigoted courtiers, and fanned by 



popular ignorance and fanaticism, against the 
Christian priests, who had obtained various 
posts under the Chinese government. They 
had not not been very successful as the 
propagators of religion, but they had 
undoubtedly rendered the Chinese valuable 
service as mathematicians and men of 
science. The Emperor Chuntche had treated 
them with marked consideration, and there 
was little to cause surprise in this favor being 
resented by the Chinese officials, and in their 
intriguing to discredit and injure the 
foreigners whose knowledge was declared to 
be superior to their own. They formulated 
a charge against them of " propagating a false 
and monstrous religion," which was easily 
understood and difficult to refute. The 
Abbe Schaal was deposed from the President- 
ship of the Mathematical Board, and cast 
into prison. 

A Narrow Escape. 
The other Europeans were also incarcerated. 
They were all tried on a common charge, and, 
the case being taken as proved, all condemned 
to a common death. The only respite granted 
between sentence and execution was for the 
purpose of discovering some specially cruel 
mode of execution that might be commensu- 
rate to the oflfence, not merely of being a Chris- 
tian, but of holding offices, that were the pre- 
scriptive right of the followers of Confucius. 
The delay thus obtained enabled one of the 
regents, named Sony, and a man of an 
enlightened and noble mind, to take steps to 
save these victims of ignorance. Supported 
by the mother of Kanghi, he succeeded in 
gaining his point, and in obtaining a reversal 
of the iniquitous sentence of ignorant 
jealously, but the reprieve came too late to 
save the hfe of the Abbe Schaal, who escaped 
the public executioner, only to perish from 
the consequences of his sufTerings in prison. 



84 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Unfortunately, Sony did not live long 
after this for his country to profit by his 
clemency, or to display it in other acts of 
the government. It was during these inci- 
dents that the young Emperor Kanghi gave 
the first indication of his capacity to judge 
important matters for himself, by deciding 
after personal examination that the astro- 
nomical system of Europe was superior to 
that of China, and by appointing Father 
Verbiest to succeed the Abbe Schaal. 

The death of the regent Sony threatened 
not merely disorders within the supreme 
administration, but an interruption of the 
good work of the government itself. 
Kanghi, with, no doubt, the support of his 
mother, solved the difficulty by assuming 
the personal direction of affairs, although he 
was then only fourteen years of age. Such 
a bold step undoubtedly betokened no ordi- 
nary vigor on the part of a youth, and its 
complete success reflected still further credit 
upon him. He seems to have been specially 
impelled to take this step by his disapproval 
of the tryannical and overbearing conduct of 
another of his regents, Baturu Kong, who 
had only been kept in check by the equal 
influence of Sony, and who promised him- 
self on his rival's death a course of unbridled 
power. 

The Regency Dissolved. 

Baturu Kong had taken the most promi- 
nent part in the agitation against the Chris- 
tians, and the success of his schemes would 
have signified the undoing of much of the 
good work accomplished during the first 
twenty years of Manchu power. The vigi- 
lance and resolution of the young Emperor 
thwarted his plans. By an imperial decree 
the regency was dissolved, and Kong was 
indicted on twelve separate charges, each 
sufficient to receive the punishment of death. 



A verdict of guilty was returned, and he and 
his family suffered the supreme punishment 
for treason. This act of vigor inaugurated 
the reign of Kanghi, and the same resolu- 
tion and courage characterized it to the end. 
In this early assertion of sovereign power, 
as in much else, it will be seen that Kanghi 
bore a striking resemblance to his great con- 
temporary, Louis the Fourteenth of France. 

Kwei Wang Taken Prisoner. 

The interest of the period now passes 
from the scenes at court to the camp of 
Wou Sankwei, who, twenty years earlier, had 
introduced the Manchus into China. During 
the Manchu campaign in Southern China he 
had kept peace on the western frontier, grad- 
ually extending his authority from Shensi 
into Szchuen and thence over Yunnan. When 
the Ming prince, Kwei Wang, who had fled 
into Burmah, returned with the support of 
the King of that country to make another 
bid for the throne, he found himself con- 
fronted by all the power and resources of 
Wou Sankwei, who was still as loyal a 
servant of the Manchu Emperor as when he 
carried his ensigns against Li Tseching. 
Kwei Wang does not appear to have ex- 
pected opposition from Wou Sankwei, and 
in the first encounter he was overthrown and 
taken prisoner. 

The conqueror, who was already under 
suspicion at the Manchu Court, and whom 
every Chinese rebel persisted in regarding as 
a natural ally, now hesitated as to how he 
should treat these important prisoners. Kwei 
Wang and his son — the last of the Mings — 
were eventually led forth to execution, 
although it should be stated that a less 
authentic report affirms they were allowed to 
strangle themselves. Having made use of 
Wou Sankwei, and obtained as they thought 
the full value of his services, the Manchus 




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HEADS OF CRIMINALS DISPLAYED FOR A WARNING. 



85 



86 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



sought to treat him with indifference and to 
throw him into the shade. But the splendor 
of his work was such that they had to con- 
fer on him the title of Prince, and to make 
him Viceroy of Yunnan and the adjacent 
territories. He exerted such an extraor- 
dinary influence over the Chinese subjects 
that they speedily* settled down under his 
authority; revenue and trade increased, and 
the Manchu authority was maintained with- 
out a Tartar garrison, for Wou Sankwei's 
army was composed exclusively of Chinese, 
and its nucleus was formed by his old garri- 
son of Ningyuen and Shanhaikwan. 

A Cunning Plot. 

There is no certain reason for saying that 
Wou Sankwei nursed any scheme of per- 
sonal aggrandizement, but the measures he 
took and the reforms he instituted were cal- 
culated to make his authority to become 
gradually independent of Manchu control. 
For a time the Manchu Government sup- 
pressed its apprehensions on account of this 
powerful satrap, by the argument that in a 
few years his death in the course of nature 
must reheve it from this peril, but Wou 
Sankwei lived on and showed no signs of 
paying the common debt of humanity. Then 
it seemed to Kanghi that Wou Sankwei was 
gradually establishing the solid foundation of 
a formidable and independent power. The 
Manchu generals and ministers had always 
been jealous of the greater fame of Wou 
Sankwei, When they saw that Kanghi 
wanted an excuse to fall foul of him, they 
carried every tale of alleged self-assertion on 
the part of the Chinese Viceroy to the Im- 
perial ears, and represented that his power 
dwarfed the dignity of the Manchu throne 
and threatened its stability. 

At last Kanghi resolved to take some de- 
cisive step to bring the question to a climax, 



and he accordingly sent Wou Sankwei an 
invitation to visit him at Pekin. This was 
in 1 67 1, when Kanghi had reached the age 
of eighteen. There was nothing unreason- 
able in this request, for Wou Sankwei had 
not visited Pekin since the accession of 
Kanghi, and any tender of allegiance had 
been made by deputy. 

It was the practice of the time that all the 
great governors should have a son or other 
near relative at the Manchu Court as a host- 
age for their good conduct, and a son of 
Wou Sankwei resided in this character at 
Pekin. He had been treated with special 
honor by the Manchu rulers, and was mar- 
ried to a half sister of the Emperor Kanghi. 
He received the title of a Royal Duke, and 
was admitted into the intimate life of the 
Palace. When he heard of the invitation to 
his father he sent off a message to him, 
warning him of the disfavor into which he 
had fallen, and advising him not to come to 
Pekin. The advice, although prompted by 
affection, was not good, but Wou Sankwei 
took it, and excused himself from going to 
court on the ground that he was very old, 
and that his only wish was to end his days 
in peace. He also deputed his son to tender 
his allegiance to the Emperor and to per- 
form the Kotao in his name. 

The Old Man's Answer. 
But Kanghi was not to be put off in this 
way, and he sent two trusted officials to Wou 
Sankwei to represent that he must comply 
with the exact terms of his command, and 
to point out the grave consequences of his 
refusing. There is no doubt that they were 
also instructed to observe how far Wou 
Sankwei was borne down by age, and what 
was the extent of his military power. The 
envoys were received with every courtesy 
and befitting honor, but when they repeated 



THE FIRST MANCHU RULER. 



87 



Kanghi's categorical demand to come to 
Pekin on penalty of being otherwise treated 
as a rebel, he broke loose from the restraint 
he had long placed upon himself, and there 
and then repudiated the Manchu authority 
in the most indignant and irrevocable terms, 
which, at least, exposed the hollowness of 
his statement that he felt the weight of years 
and thought only of making a peaceful end. 
His rely to the envoys of Kanghi was as 
follows : — •' Do they think at the Court that 
I am so blind as not to see the motive in 
this order of summons ? I shall, indeed, 
present myself there if you continue to press 
me, but it will be at the head of twice forty 
thousand men. You may go on before, but 
I hope to follow you very shortly with such 
a force as will speedily remind those in power 
of the debt they owe me." Thus did the 
great Wou Sankwei cast off his allegiance to 
the Manchus, and enter upon a war which 
aimed at the subversion of their authority. 

A Daring Conspiracy. 

Such was the reputation of this great com- 
mander, to whose ability and military 
prowess the Manchus unquestionably were 
indebted for their conquest of the empire, 
that a large part of southern China at once 
admitted his authority', and from Szchuen to 
the warlike province of Hunan his lieutenants 
were able to collect all the fighting resources 
of the State, and to array the levies of those 
provinces in the field for the approaching 
contest with Kanghi. 

While Wou Sankwei was making these 
extensive preparations in the south, his son 
at Pekin had dexdsed an ingenious and daring 
plot for the massacre of the Manchus and 
the destruction of the dynast)'. He engaged 
in his scheme the large body of Chinese slaves 
who had been placed in servitude under their 
Tartar conquerors, and these, incited by the 



j hope of liberty, proved very ready tools to 
I his designs. They bound themselves together 
by a solemn oath to be true to one another, 
and all the preparations were made to mas- 
sacre the Manchus on the occasion of the 
New Year's Festival. 

This is the grand religious and social cere- 
mony of the Chinese. It takes place on the 
first day of the first moon, which falls in our 
month of February. All business is stopped, 
the tribunals are closed for ten days, and a 
state of high festival resembling the Carnival 
prevails. The conspirators resolved to take 
advantage of this public holiday, and of the 
excitement accompanying it to carry out their 
scheme, and the Manchus appear to have 
been in total ignorance until the eleventh 
hour of the plot for their destruction. The 
discovery of the conspiracy bears a close 
resemblance to that of the Gunpowder Plot. 
A Chinese slave, wishing to save his master, 
gave him notice of the danger, and this 
Manchu oflScer at once informed Kanghi of 
the conspiracy. 

Arrested and Executed. 

The son of Wou Sankwei and the other 
conspirators were immediately arrested and 
executed without delay. The Manchus thus 
escaped by the merest accident from a danger 
which threatened them with annihilation, and 
Kanghi, having succeeded in getting rid of 
the son, concentrated his power and attention 
on the more difficult task of grappling with 
the father. 

But the power and reputation of Wou 
Sankwei were so formidable that Kanghi 
resolved to proceed with great caution, and 
the Emperor began his measures of offence 
by issuing an edict ordering the disbandment 
of all the native armies maintained by the 
Chinese Viceroys, besides Wou Sankwei. 
The object of this edict was to make all the 



88 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



governors of Chinese race to show their 
hands, and Kanghi learnt the full measure of 
the hostility he had to cope with by every 
governor from the sea coast of Fuhkien to 
Canton defying him, and throwing in their 
lot with Wou Sankwei. The piratical con- 
federacy of Formosa, where Ching, the son 
of Koshinga, had succeeded to his authority, 
also joined in with what may be called the 
national party, but its alliance proved of little 
value, as Ching, at an early period, took 
umbrage at his reception by a Chinese 
official, and returned to his island home. 

A Cavalry Raid. 

But the most formidable danger to the 
young Manchu ruler came from an 
unexpected quarter. The Mongols, seeing 
his embarrassment, and believing that the 
hours of the dynasty were numbered, 
resolved to take advantage of the occasion 
to push their claims. Satchar, chief of one 
of the Banners, issued a proclamation, calling 
his race to his side, and declaring his inten- 
tention to invade China at the head of 
100,000 men. It seemed hardly possible for 
Kanghi to extricate himself from his many 
dangers. With great quickness of percep- 
tion Kanghi saw that the most pressing 
danger was that from the Mongols, and he 
sent the whole of his northern garrisons to 
attack Satchar before the Mongol clans could 
have gathered to his assistance. The Man- 
chu cavalry, by a rapid march, surprised 
Satchar in his camp, and carried him and 
his family off as prisoners to Pekin. The 
capture of their chief discouraged the Mon- 
gols and interrupted their plans for invading 
China. Kanghi thus obtained a respite from 
what seemed his greatest peril. 

Then he turned his attention to dealing 
with Wou Sankwei, and the first effort of his 
armies resulted in the recovery of Fuhkien, 



where the governor and Ching had reduced 
themselves to a state of exhaustion by a 
contest inspired by personal jealousy, not 
patriotism. From Fuhkien his successful 
lieutenants passed into Kwantung, and the 
Chinese, seeing that the Manchus were not 
sunk as low as had been thought, abandoned 
all resistance, and again recognized the Tar- 
tar authority. The Manchus did not dare 
to punish the rebels except in rare instances, 
and, therefore, the recovery of Canton was 
unaccompanied by any scenes of blood. 
But a garrison- of Manchus was placed in 
each town of importance, and it was by 
Kanghi's order that a walled town, or " Tar- 
tar city," was built within each city for the 
accommodation and security of the dominant 
race. 

The Old Warrior Defeated. 

But notwithstanding these successes Kang- 
hi made little or no progress against the 
main force of Wou Sankwei, whose sup- 
remacy was undisputed throughout the 
whole of south-west China. It was not until 
1677 that Kanghi ventured to move his 
armies against Wou Sankwei in person. 
Although he obtained no signal- success in 
the field the divisions among the Chinese 
commanders were such that he had the satis- 
faction of compelling them to evacuate 
Hunan, and when Wou Sankwei took his 
first step backwards the sun of his fortunes 
began to set. Calamity rapidly followed 
calamity. Wou Sankwei had not known 
the meaning of defeat in his long career of 
fifty years, but now, in his old age, he saw 
his affairs in inextricable confusion. His 
adherents deserted him, many rebel officers 
sought to come to terms with the Manchus, 
and Kanghi's armies gradually converged on 
Wou Sankwei from the east and the north. 

Driven out of Szchuen, Wou Sankwei 



THE FIRST MANCHU RULER. 



89 



endeavored to make a stand in Yunnan. He 
certainly succeeded in prolonging the struggle 
down to the year 1679, when his death put 
a sudden end to the contest, and relieved 
Kanghi from much anxiety, for although the 
success of the Manchus was no longer 
uncertain, the military skill of the old 
Chinese warrior might have indefinitely pro- 
longed the war. Wou Sankwei was one of 
the most conspicuous, and attractive figures 
to be met with in the long course of Chinese 
history, and his career covered one of the 
most critical periods in the modem existence 
of that empire. 

A Brilliant Career. 

From the time of his first distinguishing 
himself in the defence of Ningyuen until he 
died, half a centurj' later, as Prince of Yun- 
nan, he occupied the very foremost place in 
the minds of his fellow-countrj^men. The 
part he had taken, first in keeping out the 
Manchus, and then in introducing them into 
the State, reflected equal credit on his ability 
and his patriotism. In requesting the Man- 
chus to crush the robber Li and to take the 
throne which the fall of the Mings had ren- 
dered vacant, he was actuated by the purest 
motives. There was only a choice of evils, 
and he selected that which seemed the less. 
He gave the empire to a foreign ruler of 
intelligence, but he saved it from an unscru- 
pulous robber. He played the part of king- 
maker to the family of Noorhachu, and the 
magnitude of their obligations to him could 
not be denied. They were not as grateful as 
he may have expected, and they looked 
askance at his military power and influence 
ov'^er his countrymen. 

Probably he felt that he had not been well 
treated, and chagrin undoubtedly induced 
him to reject Kanghi's request to proceed to 
Pekin. If he had only acceded to that 



arrangement he would have left a name for 
conspicuous loyalty and political consistency 
in the service of the great race, which he 
had been mainly instrumental in placing over 
China. But even as events turned out he 
was one of the most remarkable personages 
the Chinese race ever produced, and his 
military career shows that they are capable 
of producing great generals and brave 
soldiers. 

The Uprising Ended. 

The death of Wou Sankwei signified the 
overthrow of the Chinese uprising which had 
threatened to extinguish the still growing 
power of the Manchu under its youthful 
Emperor Kanghi. Wou Shufan the grand- 
son of that prince endeavored to carry on the 
task of holding Yunnan as an independent 
territory, but by the year 1681 his posses- 
sions were reduced to the town of Yunnanfoo, 
where he was closely besieged by the Man- 
chu forces. Although the Chinese fought 
valiantly, they were soon reduced to extremi- 
ties, and the Manchus carried the place by 
storm. The garrison were massacred to the 
last man, and Wou Shufan only avoided a 
worse fate by committing suicide. The 
Manchus not satisfied with his death, sent his 
head to Pekin to be placed on its principal 
gate in triumph, and the body of Wou Sank- 
wei himself was exhumed so that his ashes 
might be scattered in each of the eighteen 
provinces of China as a warning to traitors. 

Having crushed their most redoubtable 
antagonist, the Manchus resorted to more 
severe measures against those who had sur- 
rendered in Fuhkien and Kwantung, and 
many insurgent chiefs who had surrendered, 
and enjoyed a brief respite, ended their lives 
under the knife of the executioner. The 
Manchu soldiers are said to have been given 
spoil to the extent of nearly two millions 



90 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



sterling, and the war which witnessed the 
final assertion of Manchu power over the 
Chinese was essentially popular with the 
soldiers who carried it on to a victorious 
conclusion. A very short time after the 
final overthrow of Wou Sankwei and his 
family, the Chinese regime in Formosa was 
brought to an end, 

Kanghi, having collected a fleet, and con- 
cluded a convention with the Dutch, deter- 
mined on the invasion and conquest of 
Formosa. In the midst of these preparations 
Ching, the son of Koshinga died, and, no 
doubt, the plans of Kanghi were facilitated 
by the confusion that followed. The Man- 
chu fleet seized Ponghu, the principal island 
of the Pescadore group and thence the Man- 
chus threw a force into Formosa. It is said 
that they were helped by a high tide, and by 
the superstition of the islanders, who ex- 
claimed, " The first Wang (Koshinga), got 
possession of Taiwan by a high tide. The 
fleet now comes in the same manner. It is 
the will of Heaven." Formosa accepted the 
supremacy of the Manchus without further 
ado. Those of the islanders who had ever 
recognized the authority of any government, 
accepted that of the Emperor Kanghi, shaved 
their heads in token of submission, and 



became so far as in them lay respectable 
citizens. 

The overthrow of Wou Sankwei and the 
conquest of Formosa completed what may 
be called the pacification of China by the 
Manchus. From that period to the Taeping 
rebellion, or for nearly 200 years, there was 
no internal insurrection on a large scale. 
On the whole the Manchus stained their 
conclusive triumph by few excesses, and 
Kanghi 's moderation was scarcely inferior to 
that of his father, Chuntche. The family of 
Wou Sankwei seems to have been rooted out 
more for the personal attempt of the son at 
Pekin than for the bold ambition of the 
potentate himself The family of Koshinga 
was spared, and its principal representative 
received the patent of an earl. Thus, by 
a policy judiciously combined of severity 
and moderation, did Kanghi make himself 
supreme, and complete the work of his race. 
Whatever troubles may have beset the gov- 
ernment in the^last 220 years it will be 
justifiable to speak of the Manchus and the 
Tatsing dynasty as the legitimate authorities 
in China, and instead of foreign adventures, 
as the national and recognized rulers of the 
Middle Kingdom. They gained an empire 
and have kept their great prize. 



CHAPTER V. 



THE TAEPING REBELLION AND STORY OF 
"CHINESE GORDON." 



THAT part of Chinese history which 
lies within the present century, 
has a special interest to all readers 
The year 1850 found Hienfung on 
the throne, confronted by old abuses in the 
administration of the government and great 
national discontent. During this year an 
abundant harvest and voluntary contributions 
served to remove the worst features of the 
prevailing scarcity and suffering. But these 
temporary and local measures could not 
improve a situation that was radically bad, 
or allay a volume of popular disaffection 
that was rapidly developing into unconcealed 
rebellion. 

The storm at length burst under the Tae- 
ping leader, Tien Wang. This individual 
had a very common origin and sprang from 
an inferior race. Hung-tsuien — such w^as 
his own name — was the son of a small 
farmer near Canton, and was a hakka, a 
despised race of tramps who bear some 
resemblance to the gypsies. He seems to 
have passed all his examinations with special 
credit, but the prejudice on account of his 
birth prevented his obtaining any employ- 
ment in the c\\n\ service of his country. He 
was therefore a disappointed aspirant to 
office, and it is not surprising that he became 
an enemy of the constituted authorities and 
the government. As he could not be the 
ser\'ant of the state he set himself the ambi- 
tious task of being its master, and w4th this 
object in view he resorted to religious prac- 



tices in order to acquire a popular reputation 
and a following among the masses. 

Tien Wang announced his decision to 
seize the throne by issuing a proclamation, 
in the course of which he declared that he 
had received " the Divine commission to ex- 
terminate the Manchus, and to possess the 
Empire as its true sovereign ; " and, as it 
was also at this time that his followers 
became commonly known as Taepings, it 
may be noted that the origin of this name is 
somewhat obscure. According to the most 
plausible explanation it is derived from the 
small town of that name, situated in the 
southwest comer of the province of Kwangsi, 
where the rebel movement seems to have 
commenced. Another derivation gives it as 
the style of the dynasty which Tien Wang 
hoped to found, and its meaning as " Univer- 
sal peace." 

A Daring Chieftain. 

Tien Wang was a man of great native 
force, very resolute and daring, and gather- 
ing to himself a large number of discon- 
tented spirits he gained some successes, 
finally leading his rebellious followers to 
Nankin, where they maintained themselves 
with some difficulty against t\vo Imperial 
armies raised by the loyal efforts of the 
inhabitants of the central provinces. This 
was at the beginning of 1857, and there is 
no doubt that if the Government had avoided 
a conflict with the Europeans, and concen- 

91 



92 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



trated its efforts and power on the contest 
with the Taeping rebels they would have 
speedily annihilated the tottering fabric of 
Tien Wang's authority. But the respite of 
four years secured by the attention of the 
central government being monopolized by 
the foreign question enabled the Taepings to 
consolidate their position, augment their 
fighting forces, and present a more formid- 
able front to the Imperial authorities. 

Prompt Action Required. 

When Prince Kung, who may be styled 
the Chinese Premier, learned from Lord 
Elgin the full extent of the success of the 
Taepings on the Yangtse, of which the 
officials at Pekin seemed to possess a very 
imperfect and inaccurate knowlege, the 
Manchu authorities realized that it was a 
vital question for them to reassert their 
authority without further delay, but on 
beginning to put their new resolve into 
practice they soon experienced that the posi- 
tion of the Taepings in 1861 differed materi- 
ally from what it was in 1857. 

The course of events during that period 
must be briefly summarized. In 1858 the 
Imperialists under Tseng Kwofan and Chang 
Kwoliang renewed the seige of Nankin, but 
as the city was well supplied with provisions, 
and as the Imperialists were well known to 
have no intention of delivering an assault, the 
Taepings did not feel any apprehension. 
After the investment had continued for nearly 
a year, Chung Wang, who had now risen to 
the supreme place among the rebels, insisted 
on quitting the city before it was completely 
surrounded, with the object of beating up 
levies and generally relieving the pressure 
caused by the besiegers. 

In this endeavor he more than once 
experienced the unkindness of fortune, for 
when he had collected 5,000 good troops 



he was defeated in a vigorous attempt to 
cut his way through a far larger Imperial 
force. Such, however, was his reputation 
that the Imperial commanders before Nankin 
sent many of their men to assist the officers 
operating against him, and Chung Wang, 
seizing the opportunity, made his way by 
forced marches back to Nankin, overcoming 
such resistance as the enfeebled besiegers 
were able to offer. The whole of the year 
1859 w^s passed in practical inaction, but at 
its close the Taepings only retained posses- 
sion of four towns, besides Nankin, on the 
Yangtse. 

A Remarkable Campaign. 

It again became necessary for Chung 
Wang to sally forth and assume the offensive 
in the rear and on the line of supplies of the 
beleaguering Imperialists. His main diffi- 
culty was in obtaining the consent of Tien 
Wang, who was at this time given over to 
religious pursuits or private excesses, and 
Chung Wang states that he only consented 
when he found that he could not stop him. 
In January, 1 860, Chung Wang began what 
proved to be a very remarkable campaign. 
He put his men in good humor by distribu- 
ting a large sum of money among them, and 
he succeeded in eluding the Imperial com- 
manders, and in misleading them as to his 
intentions. While they thought he had gone 
off to relieve Ganking, he had really hastened 
to attack the important city of Hangchow, 
where much spoil and material for carrying 
on the war might be secured by the victor. 
He captured the city with little or no loss, 
on March 19, i860, but the Tartar city held 
out until relieved by Chang Kwoliang, who 
hastened from Nankin for the purpose. 

Once again the Imperial Commanders in 
their anxiety to crush Chung Wang had re- 
duced their force in front of Nankin to an 




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CHINESE GORDON." 



93 



excessively low condition, and the Taeping 
leader, placed in a desperate position, seized 
the only chance of safety by hastening from 
Hangchow to Nankin at full speed, and at- 
tacking the Imperial lines. This battle was 
fought early in the morning of a cold, snowy 
day — May 3, i860 — and resulted in the loss 
of 5,000 Imperialists, and the compulsory 
raising of the siege. The Taeping cause 
might have been resuscitated by this signal 
victory if Tien Wang had only shown him- 
self able to act up to the great part he had 
assumed ; but not merely was he incapable 
of playing the part of either a warrior or a 
statesman, but his petty jealousy prevented 
his making use of the undoubted ability of 
his lieutenant Chung Wang, who, after the 
greatest and most opportune of his successes 
was forbidden to re-enter Nankin. 

Takes Possession of Soochow. 

The energ}' and spirit of Chung Wang 
impelled him to fresh enterprises, and see- 
ing the hopelessness of Tien Wang, he deter- 
mined to secure a base of operations for 
himself, which should enable him to hold 
his own in the warring strife of the realm, 
and perhaps to achieve the triumph of the 
cause with which he was associated. It 
says much for his military energy and skill 
that he was able to impart new vigor to the 
Taeping system, and to sustain on a new 
field his position single-handed against the 
main forces of the Empire. He determined 
to obtain possession of the important city of 
Soochow, on the Grand Canal, and not very 
far distant from Shanghai. 

On his way to effect this object he gained 
a great victory over Chang Kwoliang, who 
was himself killed in the battle. As the 
ex-Triad chief possessed great energy, his 
loss was a considerable one for the govern- 
ment, but his troops continued to oppose 



the advance of the Taepings, and fought 
and lost three battles before Chung Wang 
reached Soochow. That place was too large 
to be successfully defended by a small force, 
and the Imperialists hastily abandoned it. 
At this critical moment — May, i860— Ho 
Kweitsin, the Viceroy of the Two Kiang, 
implored the aid of the English and French, 
who were at this moment completing their 
arrangements for the march on Pekin, against 
these rebels, and the French were so far 
favorable to the suggestion that they offered 
to render the assistance provided the Eng- 
lish would combine with them. 

Curious Incident. 

The British minister, Mr. Bruce, however, 
declined the adventure, which is not sur- 
prising, considering that England was then 
engaged in serious hostilities with the Chi- 
nese, but the incident remains unique of a 
country asking another for assistance during 
the progress of a bitter and doubtful war. 
The utmost that Mr. Bruce would do was to 
issue a notification that Shanghai would not 
be allowed to again fall into the hands of an 
insurgent force. The Viceroy who solicited 
the aid was at least consistent. He mem- 
orialized the Throne, praying that the de- 
mands of the Europeans should be promptly 
granted, and that they should then be em- 
ployed against the Taepings, His memorial 
was ill-timed. He was summoned to Pekin 
and executed for his very prudent advice. 
With the possession of Soochow, Chung 
Wang obtained fresh supplies of money, 
material, and men, and once more it was 
impossible to say to what height of success 
the Taepings might not attain. But Chung 
Wang was not satisfied with Soochow 
alone ; he wished to gain possession of 
Shanghai. 

Unfortunately for the realization of his 



94 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



project, the Europeans had determined to 
defend Shanghai at all hazards, but Chung 
Wang believed either that they would not, 
or that their army being absent in the north 
they had not the power to carry out this 
resolve. The necessity of capturing Shang- 
hai was rendered the greater in the eyes of 
Chung Wang by its being the base of hos- 
tile measures against himself, and by a 
measure which threatened him with a new 
peril. 

Two Americans in the War. 

The wealthy Chinese merchants of Shang- 
hai had formed a kind of patriotic associa- 
tion, and provided the funds for raising a 
European contingent. Two Americans,Ward 
and Burgevine, were taken into their pay, and 
in July, i860, they, having raised a force of 
100 Europeans and 200 Manilla men, began 
operations with an attack on Sunkiang, a large 
walled town about twenty miles from Shang- 
hai. This first attack was repulsed with some 
loss, but Ward, afraid of losing the large re- 
ward he was promised for its capture, renewed 
the attack, and with better success, for he 
gained possession of a gate, and held it until 
the whole Imperial army had come up and 
stormed the town. 

After this success Ward was requested to 
attack Tsingpu, which was a far stronger 
place than Sunkiang, and where the Taepings 
had the benefit of the advice of several Eng- 
lishmen who had joined them. Ward at- 
tacked Tsingpu on August 2, i860, but he 
was repulsed with heavy loss. He returned 
to Shanghai for the purpose of raising another 
force and two larger guns, and then renewed 
the attack. It is impossible to say whether the 
place would have held out or not, but after 
seven days' bombardment Chung Wang sud- 
denly appeared to the rescue, and, surprising 
Ward's force, drove it away in utter con- 



fusion, and with the loss of all its guns and 
stores. 

Encouraged by this success, Chung Wang 
then thought the time opportune for attack- 
ing Shanghai, and he accordingly marched 
against it, burning and plundering the vil- 
lages along the road. The Imperialists had 
established a camp or stockade outside the 
western gate, and Chung Wang carried this 
without any difficulty, but when he reached 
the walls of the town he found a very differ- 
ent opponent in his path. The walls were 
lined with English and French troops, and 
when the Taepings attempted to enter the 
city they were received with a warm fire, 
which quickly sent them to the rightabout. 

Compelled to Retreat. 

Chung Wang renewed the attack at dif- 
ferent points during the next four or five 
days, but he was then obliged to retreat. 
Before doing so, however, he sent a boast- 
ing message that he had come at the invita- 
tion of the French, who were traitors, and 
that he would have taken the city but for 
foreigners, as " there was no city which his 
men could not storm." At this moment the 
attention of Chung Wang was called off to 
Nankin, which the Imperialists were invest- 
ing for a sixth time, under Tseng Kwofan, 
who had been elevated to the Viceroyalty of 
the Two Kiang. Tien Wang, in despair, sent 
off an urgent summons to Chung Wang to 
come to his assistance, and although he went 
with reluctance he felt that he had no course 
but to obey. 

Chung Wang found matters in great con- 
fusion at Nankin, and the chief Wangs quite 
incapable of following a wise course under 
the critical circumstances of the hour. When 
they enunciated such ridiculous statements 
that Tien Wang, as the lord of Heaven, had 
only to say the word, and there would be 




95 



96 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



peace, he curtly admonished them to buy 
rice and prepare for a seige. Having done 
what he could to place Nankin in an effi- 
cient state of defence, Chung Wang hastened 
back to Soochow to resume active prepara- 
tions. It is unnecessary to describe these in 
detail ; but although Chung Wang was 
twice defeated by a Manchu general named 
Paochiaou, he succeeded, by rapidity of 
movement, in holding his own against his 
more numerous adversaries. 

" The Ever Victorious Army." 

In the meantime an important change had 
taken place in the situation. The peace be- 
tween China and the foreign powers com- 
pelled a revision of the position at Shanghai. 
Admiral Hope sailed up to Nankin, inter- 
viewed the Wangs, and exacted from them a 
pledge that Shanghai should not be at- 
tacked for twelve months, and that the Taep- 
ing forces should not advance within a radius 
of thirty miles of that place. In conse- 
quence of this arrangement Ward and 
Burgevine were compelled to desist from re- 
cruiting Europeans ; but after a brief interval 
they were taken into the Chinese service for 
the purpose of drilling Chinese soldiers, a 
measure from which the most important 
consequences were to flow, for it proved to 
be the origin of the Ever Victorious Army. 

These preparations were not far advanced 
when Chung Wang, elated by his capture of 
Ningpo and Hangchow, resolved to disre- 
gard Tien Wang's promise, and make a 
second attack on Shanghai, the possession of 
which he saw to be indispensable if his cause 
was to attain any brilliant triumph. He 
issued a proclamation that " the hour of the 
Manchus had come ! Shanghai is a little 
place, and we have nothing to fear from it. 
We must take Shanghai to complete our 
dominions." The death of Hienfung seems 



to have encouraged Chung Wang to take 
what he hoped would prove a decisive step. 

On the 14th of January, 1862, the Taep- 
ings reached the immediate vicinity of the 
town and foreign settlement. The surround- 
ing country was concealed by the smoke of 
the burning villages, which they had ruth- 
lessly destroyed. The foreign settlement 
was crowded with thousands of fugitives, 
imploring the aid of the Europeans to save 
their houses and property. Their sufferings, 
which would at the best have been great, 
were aggravated by the exceptional severity 
of the winter. The English garrison of two 
native regiments and some artillery, even 
when supported by the volunteers, was far 
too weak to attempt more than the defence 
of the place ; but this it was fortunately able 
to perform. 

Important Capture. 

The rebels, during the first week after 
their reappearance, plundered and burned in 
all directions, threatening even to make an 
attack on Woosung, the port at the mouth 
of the river, where they were repulsed by the 
French. Sir John Michel arrived at Shang- 
hai with a small reinforcement of English 
troops, and Ward, having succeeded in dis- 
ciplining two Chinese regiments about one 
thousand strong in all, sallied forth from 
Sunkiang for the purpose of operating on 
the rear of the Taeping forces. Ward's cap- 
ture of Quanfuling, with several hundred 
rebel boats which were frozen up in the 
river, should have warned the Taepings 
that it was nearly time for them to retire. 

However, they did not act as prudence 
would have dictated, and, during the whole 
of February their raids continued round 
Shanghai. The suburbs suffered from their 
attacks, the foreign factories and boats were 
not secure, and several outrages on the per- 



CHINESE GORDON." 



9^ 



sons of foreigners remained unatoncd for. 
It was impossible to tolerate any longer their 
enormities. The English and French com- 
manders came to the determination to attack 
the rebels, to enforce the original agreement 
with Tien Wang, and to clear the country- 
round Shanghai of the presence of the Taep- 
ings for the space of thirty miles. 

Guns on the Walls. 

On the 2 1st of February-, therefore, a joint 
force composed of 336 English sailors and 
marines, 160 French seamen, and 600 men 
from Ward's contingent, accompanied by 
their respective commanders, with Admiral 
Hope in chief charge, advanced upon the 
village of Kachiaou, where the Taepings 
had strengthened their position, and placed 
guns on the walls. After a sharp engage- 
ment the place was stormed. Ward's men 
leading the attack with Burgevine at their 
head. The drilled Chinese behaved with 
great steadiness, but the Taepings were 
not to be dismayed by a single defeat. 
They even resumed their attacks on the 
Europeans. 

On one occasion Admiral Hope himself 
was compelled to retire before their superior 
numbers, and to summon fresh troops to his 
assistance. The reinforcements consisted of 
450 Europeans and 700 of Ward's forces, 
besides seven howitzers. With these it was 
determined to attack Tseedong, a place of 
great strength, surrounded by stone walls 
and ditches seven feet deep. The Taepings 
stood to their guns with great spirit, receiv- 
ing the advancing troops with a very heavy 
fire. When, however. Ward's contingent, 
making a detour, appeared in 'the rear of the 
place, they hastily evacuated their positions, 
but the English sailors had carried the walls, 
and, caught between two fires, they offered a 
stubborn but futile resistance. More than 



seven hundred were killed, and three hun- 
dred were taken prisoners after fighting with 
the most resolute bravery. 

The favorable opinion formed of the Ever 
Victorious Army by the action at Kachiaou 
was confirmed by the more serious affair at 
Tseedong ; and Mr. Bruce at Pekin brought 
it under the favorable notice of Prince Kung 
and the Chinese Government. Having taken 
these hostile steps against the rebels, it neces- 
sarily followed that no advantage would ac- 
crue from any further hesitation with regard 
to allowing Europeans to enter the Imperial 
service for the purpose of opposing them. 
W^ard was officially recognized, and allowed 
to purchase weapons and to engage officers. 
An Englishman contracted to convey nine 
thousand of the troops who had stormed 
Ganking from the Xangtse to Shanghai. 
These men were Honan braves, who had 
seen considerable service in the interior of 
China, and it was proposed that they should 
garrison the towns of Kiangsu accordingly 
as they were taken from the rebels. 

Repulsed with Heavy Loss. 

The arrival of General Staveley from 
Tientsin at the end of March, with portions 
of two English regiments (the 3 ist and 67th) 
put a new face on affairs, and showed that 
the time was at hand when it would be pos- 
sible to carry out the threat of clearing the 
country round Shanghai for the space of 
thirty miles. 

The first place to be attacked towards the 
realization of this plan was the village of 
Wongkadza, about twelve miles west of 
Shanghai. Here the Taepings offered only 
a brief resistance, retiring to some stronger 
stockades four miles further west. General 
Staveley, considering that his men had done 
enough work for that day, halted them, in- 
tending to renew the attack the next morn- 



98 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



ing. Unfortunately, Ward was carried away 
by his impetuosity, and attacked this inner 
position with some five hundred of his own 
men. Admiral Hope accompanied him. 
The Taepings met them with a tremendous 
fire, and after several attempts to scale the 
works they were repulsed with heavy loss. 
Admiral Hope was wounded in the leg, 
seven officers were wounded, and seventy 
men killed and wounded. 

The attack was repeated in force on the 
following day, and after some fighting the 
Taepings evacuated their stockades. The 
next place attacked was the village of 
Tsipoo; and, notwithstanding their strong 
earthworks and three wide ditches, the rebels 
were driven out in a few hours. It was then 
determined to attack Kahding, Tsingpu, 
Nanjao and ChoHn^ at which places the 
Taepings were known to have mustered in 
considerable strength. 

Attempt to Burn Shanghai. 

The first place was taken with little resis- 
tance, and its capture was followed by prepa- 
rations for the attack on Tsingpu, which 
were hastened rather than delayed by a des- 
perate attempt to set fire to Shanghai. The 
plot was fortunately discovered in time, and 
the culprits captured and summarily executed 
to the number of two hundred. Early in 
May a strong force was assembled at Sun- 
kiang, and proceeded by boat, on account of 
the difiiculties of locomotion, to Tsingpu. 
The fire of the guns, in which the expedition 
was exceptionally strong, proved most de- 
structive, and two breaches being pronounced 
practicable the place was carried by assault. 
The rebels fought well and up to the last, 
when they found fight impossible. The 
Chinese troops slew every man found in the 
place with arms in his hands. 

A few days later Nanjao was captured, 



but in the attack the French commander, 
Admiral Protet, a gallant officer who had 
been to the front during the whole of these 
operations, was shot dead. The rebels, dis- 
heartened by these successive defeats, rallied 
at Cholin, where they prepared to make a 
final stand. The allied force attacked Cholin 
on the 20th of May, and an English detach- 
ment carried it almost at the point of the 
bayonet. With this achievement the opera- 
tions of the English troops came for the 
moment to an end, for a disaster to the 
imperial arms in their rear necessitated their 
turning their attention to a different quarter. 

A Cunning Stratagem. 

The troops summoned from Ganking had 
at last arrived to the number of five or six 
thousand men ; and the Furai Sieh, who was 
on the point of being superseded to make 
room for Li Hung Chang, thought to 
employ them before his departure on some 
enterprise which should redound to his 
credit and restore his sinking fortunes. The 
operation was as hazardous as it was am- 
bitious. The resolution he came to was to 
attack the city and forts of Taitsan, a place 
northwest of Shanghai, and not very distant 
from Chung Wang's headquarters at Soo- 
chow. The Imperialist force reached Taitsan 
on the 1 2th of May, but less than two days 
later Chung Wang arrived in person at the 
head of ten thousand chosen troops to 
relieve the garrison. 

A battle ensued on the day following, 
when, notwithstanding their great superiority 
in numbers, the Taepings failed to obtain 
any success. In this extremity Chung Wang 
resorted to a stratagem. Two thousand of 
his men shaved their heads and pretended to 
desert to the Imperialists. When the battle 
was renewed at sunrise on the following 
morning this band threw aside their assumed 




'S^* 







FOLLOWING THE DEAD TO THE CEMETERY. 



99 



100 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



character and turned upon the Imperialists. 
A dreadful slaughter ensued. Of the seven 
thousand Honan braves and the Tartars from 
Shanghai, five thousand fell on the field. 
The consequences of this disaster were to 
undo most of the good accomplished by 
General Staveley and his force. The Im- 
perialists were for the moment dismayed, and 
the Taepings correspondingly encouraged. 
General Staveley's communications were 
threatened, one detachment was cut off, and 
the general had to abandon his intended plan 
and retrace his steps to Shanghai. 

Discovered Just in Time. 

Chung Wang then laid regular siege to 
Sunkiang, where Ward was in person, and 
he very nearly succeeded in carrying the 
place by escalade. The attempt was fortu- 
nately discovered by an English sailor just 
in time, and repulsed with a loss to the rebels 
of one hundred men. The Taepings con- 
tinued to show great daring and activity 
before both Sunkiang and Tsingpu ; and 
although the latter place was bravely 
defended, it became clear that the wisest 
course would be to evacuate it. A body of 
troops was therefore sent from Shanghai to 
form a junction with Ward at Sunkiang, and 
to effect the safe retreat of the Tsingpu gar- 
rison. 

The earlier proceedings were satisfactorily 
arranged, but the last act of.all was grossly 
mismanaged and resulted in a catastrophe. 
Ward caused the place to be set on fire, 
when the Taepings, realizing what was being 
done, hastened into the town, and assailed 
the retiring garrison. A scene of great con- 
fusion, followed ; many lives were lost, and 
the Commandant who had held it so cour- 
ageously was taken prisoner. Chung Wang 
could therefore appeal to some facts to sup- 
port his contention that he had got the better 



of the Europeans and the Imperialists in the 
province of Kiangsu. 

From the scene of his successes Chung 
Wang was once more called away by the 
timidity or peril of Tien Wang, who was 
barely able to maintain his position at 
Nankin, but when he hastened off to assist 
the chief of the Taepings he found that he 
was out of favor, and that the jealousy or 
fear of his colleagues brought about his 
temporary disgrace and loss of title. Shortly 
after Chung Wang's departure Ward was 
killed in action and Burgevine succeeded to 
the command, but it soon became apparent 
that his relations with the Chinese authori- 
ties would not be smooth. General Chinsf 
was jealous of the Ever-Victorious Army 
and wished to have all the credit for himself. 

A Sharp Quarrel. 

Li Hung Chang who had been appointed 
Futai or Governor of Kiangsu entertained 
doubts of the loyalty of this adventurer, and 
a feud broke out between them at an early 
stage of their relations. Burgevine was a 
man of high temper and strong passions, 
who was disposed to treat his Chinese col- 
leagues with lofty superciliousness, and who 
met the wiles of the Futai with peremptory 
demands to recognize the claims of himself 
and his band. Nor was this all. Burgevine 
had designs of his own. Although the pro- 
ject had not taken definite form in his mind 
— for an unsubdued enemy was still in pos- 
session of the greater part of the province — 
the inclination was strong within him to play 
the part of military dictator with the 
Chinese ; or failing that, to found an inde- 
pendent authority on some convenient spot 
of Celestial territory. 

Burgevine's character was described at a 
later period as being that of "a man of large 
promises and few works." "His popularity 



102 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



project of removing the force to Nankin was 
revived, and, the steamers having been char- 
tered, Burgevine was requested to bring down 
his force from Sunkiang and to embark it at 
Shanghai. This he expressed his willingness 
to do on payment of his men who were two 
months in arrear, and on the settlement of 
all outstanding claims. Burgevine was sup- 
ported by his troops. Whatever his disHke 
to the proposed move, theirs was immeasur- 
ably greater. They refused to move without 
the payment of all arrears ; and on the 2d 
of January they even went so far as to openly 
mutiny. 

Struck a Mandarin. 

Two days later Burgevine went to Shang- 
hai, and had an interview with Takee. The 
meeting was stormy. Burgevine used per- 
sonal violence towards the Shanghai mef- 
chant, whose attitude was at first overbearing, 
and he returned to his exasperated troops 
with the money, which he carried off by 
force. The Futai Li, on hearing of the 
assault on Takee, hastened to General 
Staveley to complain of B urge vine's gross 
insubordination in striking a mandarin, which 
by the law of China was punishable with 
death. Burgevine was dismissed from the 
Chinese service, and the notice of this re- 
moval was forwarded by the English General, 
with a recommendation to him to give up his 
command without disturbance. This Burge- 
vine did, for the advice of the English general 
was equivalent to a command, and on the 
6th of January, 1863, Burgevine was back 
at Shanghai. 

Captain Holland was then placed in tem- 
porary command, while the answer of the 
Home Government was awaited to General 
Staveley's proposition to entrust the force to 
the care of a young captain of engineers, 
named Charles Gordon. Chung Wang re- 



turned at this moment to Soochow, and in 
Kiangsu the cause of the Taepings again 
revived through his energy. In February 
a detachment of Holland's force attacked 
Fushan, but met with a check, when the 
news of a serious defeat at Taitsan, where 
the former Futai Sieh had been defeated, 
compelled its speedy retreat to Sunkiang. 
Li had some reason to believe that Taitsan 
would surrender on the approach of the 
Imperialists, and he accordingly sent a large 
army, including 2,500 of the contingent, to 
attack it. 

The affair was badly managed. The 
assaulting party was stopped by a wide 
ditch ; neither boats nor ladders arrived. 
The Taepings fired furiously on the exposed 
party, several officers were killed, and the 
men broke into confusion. The heavy guns 
stuck in the soft ground and had to be aban- 
doned ; and despite the good conduct of the 
contingent the Taepings achieved a decisive 
success (13th February). Chung Wang 
was able to feel that his old luck had not 
deserted him, and the Taepings of Kiangsu 
recovered all their former confidence in 
themselves and their leader. This disaster 
inflicted a rude blow on the confidence of 
Li and his assistants ; and it was resolved 
that nothing should be attempted until the* 
English officer, at last appointed, had as- 
sumed the active command. 

Gordon in Command. 

Such was the position of affairs when on 
24th of March, 1863, Major Gordon took 
command of the Ever- Victorious Army. At 
that moment it was not merely discouraged 
by its recent reverses, but it was discontented 
with its position, and when Major Gordon 
assumed the command at Sunkiang there 
was some fear of an immediate mutiny. 
The new commander succeeded in allaying 



104 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



their discontent, and believing that active 
employment was the best cure for insubor- 
dination resolved to relieve Chanzu without 
delay. The Taepings were pressing the 
siege hard and would probably have cap- 
tured the place before many days when 
Major Gordon attacked them in their stock- 
ades and drove them out with no inconsider- 
able loss. 

The Next Move. 

Having thus gained the confidence of his 
men and the approbation of the Chinese 
authorities Major Gordon returned to Sun- 
kiang where he employed himself in ener- 
getically restoring the discipline of his force, 
and in preparing for his next move which at 
the request of Li Hung Chang was to be the 
capture of Quinsan. On the 24th of April the 
force left Sunkiang to attack Quinsan, but it 
had not proceeded far when its course had 
to be altered to Taitsan, where, through an 
act of treachery, a force of 1,500 Imperialists 
had been annihilated. It became necessary 
to retrieve this disaster without delay, more 
especially as all hope of taking Quinsan had 
for the moment to be abandoned. 

Major Gordon at once altered the direc- 
tion of his march, and joining en route 
General Ching, who had, on the news, broken 
up his camp before Quinsan, hastened as 
rapidly as possible to Taitsan, where he 
arrived on the 29th of April. Bad weather 
obliged the attack to be deferred until 
the 1st of May, when two stockades on 
the west side were carried, and their defen- 
ders compelled to flee, not into the town as 
they would have wished, but away from it 
towards Chanzu. On the following day, the 
attack was resumed on the north side, while 
the armed boats proceeded to assault the 
place from the creek. The firing continued 
from nine in the morning until five in the 



evening, when a breach seemed to be practi- 
cable, and two regiments were ordered to the 
assault. The rebels showed great courage 
and fortitude, swarming in the breach and 
pouring a heavy and well-directed fire upon 
the troops. 

The attack was momentarily checked; 
but while the stormers remained under such 
cover as they could find, the shells of two 
howitzers were playing over their heads and 
causing frightful havoc among the Taepings 
in the breach. But for these guns, Major 
Gordon did not think that the place would 
have been carried at all ; but after some 
minutes of this firing at such close quarters, 
the rebels began to show signs of wavering. 
A party of troops gained the wall, a fresh 
regiment advanced towards the breach, and 
the disappearance of the snake flag showed 
that the Taeping leaders had given up the 
fight. Taitsan was thus captured, and the 
three previous disasters before it retrieved. 

Gordon's Difficulties. 

On the 4th of May the victorious force 
appeared before Quinsan, a place of consider- 
able strength and possessing a formidable 
artillery directed by a European. The 
town was evidently too strong to be carried 
by an immediate attack, and Major Gordon's 
movements were further hampered by the 
conduct of his own men, who, upon their 
arrival at Quinsan, hurried off in detachments 
to Sunkiang for the purpose of disposing of 
their spoil. 

Ammunition had also fallen short, and 
the commander was consequently obliged to 
return to refit and to rally his men. At 
Sunkiang worse confusion followed, for the 
men, or rather the officers, broke out into 
mutiny on the occasion of Major Gordon 
appointing an English officer with the rank 
of lieutenant-colonel to the control of the 



"CHINESE GORDON." 



105 



commissariat, which had been completely- 
neglected. The men who had serv-ed with 
Ward and Burgevine objected to this, and 
openly refused to obey orders. Fortunately 
the stores and ammunition were collected, 
and Major Gordon announced that he would 
march on the following morning, with or 
without the mutineers. Those who did not 
answer to their names at the end of the first 
half-march would be dismissed, and he spoke 
with the authority of one in complete accord 
with the Chinese authorities themselves. 

Anxious for the Fray. 

The soldiers obeyed him as a Chinese 
official, because he had been made a tsung- 
ping or brigadier-general, and the officers 
feared to disobey him as they would have 
liked on account of his commanding the 
source whence they were paid. The muti- 
neers fell in, and a force of nearly 3,000 men, 
well-equipped and anxious for the fray, 
returned to Quinsan, where General Ching 
had, in the meanwhile, kept the rebels closely 
watched from a strong position defended by 
several stockades, and supported by the 
Hysan steamer. Immediately after his ar- 
rival. Major Gordon moved out his force to 
attack the stockades which the rebels had 
constructed on their right wing. These 
were strongly built; but as soon as the 
defenders perceived that the assailants had 
gained their flank they precipitately withdrew 
into Quinsan itself. General Ching wished 
the attack to be made on the Eastern Gate, 
opposite to which he had raised his own 
intrenchments, and by which he had 
announced his intention of forcing his way; 
but a brief inspection showed Major Gordon 
that that was the strongest point of the 
town, and that a direct attack upon it could 
only succeed, if at all, by a xoxy considerable 
sacrifice of men. 



Like a prudent commander Major Gordon 
determined to reconnoitre; and, after much 
grumbling on the part of General Ching, he 
decided that the most hopeful plan was to 
carry some stockades situated seven miles 
west of the town, and thence assail Quinsan 
on the Soochow side, which was weaker than 
the others. These stockades were at a 
village called Chumze. On the 30th of May 
the force detailed for his work proceeded to 
carry it out. The Hyson and fifty imperial 
gunboats conveyed the land force, which 
consisted of one regiment, some guns, and a 
large body of Imperialists. 

The rebels at Chumze offered hardly the 
least resistance; whether it was that they 
were dismayed at the sudden appearance of 
the enemy, or, as was stated at the time, 
because they considered themselves illtreated 
by their comrades in Quinsan. The Hyson 
vigorously pursued those who fled towards 
Soochow, and completed the effect of this 
success by the capture of a very strong and 
well-built fort covering a bridge at Ta Edin. 
An Imperialist garrison was installed there, 
and the Hyson continued the pursuit to with- 
in a mile of Soochow itself. 

A Lively Panic. 

The defenders of Quinsan itself were 
terribly alarmed at the cutting off of their 
communications. They saw themselves on 
the point of being surrounded, and they 
yielded to the uncontrollable impulse of 
panic. During the night, after having suf- 
fered severely from the Hyson fire, the garri- 
son evacuated the place, which might easily 
have held out; and General Ching had the 
personal satisfaction, on learning from some 
deserters of the flight of the garrison, of lead- 
ing his men over the eastern walls which he 
had wished to assault. The importance of 
Quinsan was realized on its capture. Major 



106 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Gordon pronounced it to be the key of Soo- 
chow, and at once resolved to establish his 
headquarters there, partly because of its 



The change was not acceptable, however, 
to the force itself; and the artillery in parti- 
cular refused to obey orders, and threatened 




A CHINESE FESTIVAL. 

natural advantages, but also and not less on I to shoot their officers 



account of its enabling him to gradually des- 
troy the evil associations and vicious habits 
which the men had contracted at Sunkiang. 



Discipline was, how- 
ever, promptly reasserted by the energy of 
the commander, who ordered the principal 
ring-leader to be shot and the Ever Victori- 



"CHINESE GORDON." 



107 



ous Army became gradually reconciled to 
its new position at Quinsan. After the cap- 
ture of Quinsan there was a cessation of 
active operations for nearly two months. It 
was the height of summer and the new 
troops had to be drilled. The difficulty with 
Ching, who took all the credit for the cap- 
ture of Quinsan to himself, was arranged 
through the mediation of Dr. Macartney, 
who had just left the English army to 
become Li's right-hand man. 

Removal of a Commander. 

Two other circumstances occurred to em- 
barrass the young commander. There were 
rumors of some meditated movement on 
the part of Burgevine, who had returned 
from Pekin with letters exculpating him and 
who endeavored to recover the command in 
spite of Li Hung Chang, and there was a 
further manifestation of insubordination in 
the force, which, as Gordon said, bore more 
resemblance to a rabble than the magnificent 
army it was popularly supposed to be. The 
artillery had been cowed by Major Gordon's 
vigor, but its efficiency remained more doubt- 
ful than could be satisfactory to the general 
responsible for its condition, and also relying 
upon it as the most potent arm of his force. 
He resolved to remove the old commander, 
and to appoint an English officer. Major 
Tapp, in his place. 

On carr^'ing his determination into effect 
the officers sent in " a round robin," refusing 
to accept the new officer. This was on the 
25th of July, and the expedition which had 
been decided upon against Wokong had con- 
sequently to set out the following morning 
without a single artillery officer. In face of 
the inflexible resolve of the leader, however, 
the officers repented, and appeared in a body 
at the camp begging to be taken back, and 
expressing their willingness to accept " Major 



Tapp or anyone else " as their colonel. They 
were promptly reinstated. 

With these troops, part of whom had only 
just returned to a proper sense of discipline, 
Gordon proceeded to attack Kahpoo, a place 
on the Grand Canal south of Soochow, where 
the rebels held two strongly-built stone forts. 
The force had been strengthened by the addi- 
tion of another steamer, the Firefly, a sister 
vessel to the Hyson. Major Gordon arrived 
before Kahpoo on the 27th of July; and the 
garrison, evidently taken by surprise, made 
scarcely the least resistance. The capture 
of Kahpoo placed Gordon's force bet^veen 
Soochow and Wokong, the next object of 
attack. At Wokong the rebels were equally 
unprepared. 

The Place Surrendered. 

The garrison at Kahpoo, thinking only of 
its own safet}% had fled to Soochow, leaving ' 
their comrades at Wokong unwarned and to 
their fate. So heedless were the Taepings at 
this place of all danger from the north, that 
they had even neglected to occupy a strong 
stone fort situated about i ,000 yards north 
of the walls. The Taepings attempted too 
late to repair their error, and the loss of this 
fort caused them that of all their other stock- 
ades. Wokong itself was too weak to offer 
any effectual resistance ; and the garrison on 
the eve of the assault ordered for the 29th of 
July sent out a request for quarter, which 
was granted, and the place surrendered witli- . 
out further fighting. Meanwhile an event of 
far greater importance had happened than 
even the capture of these towns, although 
they formed the necessary preliminary to 
the investment of Soochow. Burgevine had 
come to the decision to join the Taepings. 

Disappointed in his hope of receiving the 
command, Burgevine remained on at Shang- 
hai, employing his time in watching the vary- 



108 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



ing phases of a campaign in which he longed 
to take part, and of which he believed that it 
was only his due to have the direction, but 
still hesitating as to what decision it behoved 
him to take. His contempt for all Chinese 
officials became hatred of the bitterest kind 
of the Futai, by whom he had been not 
merely thwarted but overreached, and pre- 
disposed him to regard with no unfavorable 
eye the idea of joining his fortunes with those 
of the rebel Taepings. 

Jealous of Gordon. 

To him in this frame of mind came some 
of the dismissed officers and men of the 
Ward force appealing to his vanity by declar- 
ing that his soldiers remembered him with 
affection, and that he had only to hoist his 
flag for most of his old followers to rally 
round him. There was little to marvel at 
if he also was not free from some feeling of 
jealousy at the success and growing fame of 
Major Gordon, for whom he simulated a 
warm friendship. The combination of mo- 
tives proved altogether irresistible as soon as 
he found that several hundred European 
adventurers were ready to accompany him 
into the ranks of the Taepings, and to en- 
deavor to do for them what they failed to 
perform for the Imperialists. 

On the 1 5th of July, Dr. Macartney wrote 
to Major Gordon stating that he had positive 
information that Burgevine was enlisting men 
for some enterprise, that he had already col- 
lected about 300 Europeans, and that he had 
even gone so far as to choose a special flag, 
a white diamond on a red ground, and con- 
taining a black star in the centre of the dia- 
mond. On the 2 1st of the same month 
Burgevine wrote to Major Gordon saying 
that there would be many rumors about 
him, but that he was not to believe any 
of them, and that he would come and see 



him shortly. This letter was written as 
a blind, and, unfortunately, Major Gordon 
attached greater value to Burgevine's word 
than he did to the precise information of Dr. 
Macartney, He was too much disposed to 
think that, as the officer had to a certain 
extent superseded Burgevine in command, 
he was bound to take the most favorable 
view of all his actions, and to trust implicitly 
in his good faith. Major Gordon, trusting 
to his word, made himself personally respon- 
sible to the Chinese authorities for his good 
faith, and thus Burgevine escaped arrest. 

Burgevine's plans had been deeply laid. 
He had been long in correspondence with 
the Taepings, and his terms had been ac- 
cepted. He proclaimed his hostility to the 
Government by seizing one of their new 
steamers. 

Immediate Danger. 

At this very moment Major Gordon came 
to the decision to resign, and he hastened 
back to Shanghai in order to place his with- 
drawal from the force in the hands of the 
Futai. He arrived there on the very day 
that Burgevine seized the Kajow steamer at 
Sunkiang, and on hearing the news he at 
once withdrew his resignation, which had 
been made partly from irritation at the 
irregular payment of his men, and also on 
account of the cruelty of General Ching. 
Not merely did he withdraw his resignation, 
but he hastened back to Quinsan, into which 
he rode on the night of the very same day 
that had witnessed his departure. The im- 
mediate and most pressing danger was from 
the possible defection of the force to its old 
leader, when, with the large stores of artil- 
lery and ammunition at Quinsan in their pos- 
session, not even Shanghai, with its very 
weak foreign garrison, could be considered 
safe from attack. 




o 



P-. 
< 

CO 

< 



X^'^-^HM 



o 

CQ 




"CHINESE GORDON." 



109 



As a measure of precaution Major Gor- 
don sent some of his heavy guns and stores 
back to Taitsan, where the English com- 
mander, General Brown, consented to guard 
them, while he hastened off to Kahpoo, now 
threatened both by the Soochow force and 
by the foreign adventurers acting under 
Burgexdne. He arrived at the most critical 
moment. The garrison was hard pressed. 
General Ching had gone back to Shanghai, 
and only the presence of the Hyson pre- 
vented the rebels, who were well armed and 
possessed an efficient artillery, from carrying 
the fort by a rush. The arrival of Major 
Gordon with 150 men on board his third 
steamer, the Cricket, restored the confidence 
of the defenders, but there was no doubt that 
Burgevine had lost a most favorable oppor- 
tunity, for if he had attacked this place in- 
stead of proceeding to Soochow it must have 
fallen. . 

Moving on the Rebel Stronghold. 

General Ching, who was a man of almost 
extraordinary energy and restlessness, re- ! 
solved to signalize his return to the field by 
some striking act while Major Gordon was 
completing his preparations at Quinsan for a 
fresh effort. His headquarters were at the 
strong, fort of Ta Edin, on the creek leading 
from Quinsan to Soochow, and having the 
Hyson with him, he determined to make a 
dash to some point nearer the great rebel 
stronghold. On the 30th of August he had 
seized the position of Waiquaidong, where, 
in three days, he threw up stockades, admir- 
ably constructed, and which could not have 
been carried save by a great effort on the 
part of the whole of the Soochow garrison. 

Towards the end of September, Major 
Gordon, fearing lest the rebels, who had now 
the supposed advantage of Burgevine's pres- 
ence and advice, might make some attempt 



to cut off General Ching's lengthy communi- 
cations, moved forward to Waiquaidong to 
support him ; but when he arrived, he found 
that the impatient mandarin, encouraged 
either by the news of his approach or at the 
inaction of the Taepings in Soochow, had 
made a still further advance of two miles, so 
that he was only 1,000 yards distant from 
the rebel stockades in front of the East Gate. 
Major Gordon had at this time been rein- 
forced by the Franco-Chinese corps, which 
had been well disciplined, under the com- 
mand of Captain Bonnefoy, while the neces- 
sity of leaving any strong garrison at Quin- 
san had been obviated by the loan of 200 
Belooches from General Bro^vn's force. 

Effective Fire of the Gunboat. 

The rebel position having been carefully 
reconnoitred, both on the east and on the 
south. Major Gordon determined that the first 
step necessary for its proper beleaguerment 
was to seize and fortify the village of Pata- 
chiaou, about one mile south of the city wall. 
The village, although stockaded, was evacu- 
ated by the garrison after a feeble resist- 
ance, and an attempt to recover it a few 
hours later by Mow Wang in person resulted 
in a rude repulse chiefly on account of the 
effective fire of the Hyson. Burgevine, 
instead of fighting the batties of the failing 
cause he had adopted, was travelling about 
the country : at one moment in the capital 
interviewing Tien Wang and his ministers, 
at another going about in disguise even in 
the streets of Shanghai. 

But during the weeks when General 
Ching might have been taken at a disadvan- 
tage, and when it was quite possible to 
recover some of the places which had been 
lost, he was absent from the scene of military 
operations. After the capture of Patachiaou 
most of the troops and the steamers that had 



110 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



taken it were sent back to Waiquaidong, but 
Major Gordon remained there with a select 
body of his men and three howitzers. The 
rebels had not resigned themselves to the 
loss of Patachiaou, and on the i st of October 
they made a regular attempt to recover it. 
They brought the Kajow into action, and, as 
it had found a daring commander in a man 
named Jones, its assistance proved very con- 
siderable. They had also a 32-pounder gun 
on board a junk, and this enabled them to 
overcome the fire of Gordon's howitzers and 
also of the Hyson, which arrived from Wai- 
quaidong during the engagement. But not- 
withstanding the superiority of their artillery, 
the rebels hesitated to come to close quarters, 
and when Major Gordon and Captain Bon- 
nefoy led a sortie against them at the end of 
the day they retired precipitately. 

"Wishes to Surrender. 

At this stage Burgevine wrote to Major 
Gordon two letters — the first exalting the 
Taepings, and the second written two days 
later asking for an interview, whereupon he 
expressed his desire to surrender on the pro- 
vision of personal safety. He assigned the 
state of his health as the cause of this change, 
but there was never the least doubt that the 
true reason of this altered view was dissatis- 
faction with his treatment by the Taeping 
leaders and a conviction of the impossibility 
of success. Inside Soochow, and at Nankin, 
it was possible to see with clearer eyes than 
at Shanghai that the Taeping cause was one 
that could not be resuscitated. 

But although Burgevine soon and very 
clearly saw the hopelessness of the Taeping 
movement, he had by no means made up his 
mind to go over to the Imperialists. With 
a considerable number of European followers 
at his beck and call, and with a profound 
and ineradicable contempt for the whole 



Chinese official world, he was loth to lose 
or surrender the position which gave him 
a certain importance. He vacillated between 
a number of suggestions, and the last he 
came to was the most remarkable, at the 
same time that it revealed more clearly than 
any other the vain and meretricious charac- 
ter of the man. 

A Scheme of Treachery. 

In his second interview with Major Gor- 
don he proposed that that officer should join 
him, and combining the whole force of the 
Europeans and the disciplined Chinese, seize 
Soochow, and establish an independent 
authority of their own. It was the old fili- 
bustering idea, revived under the most 
unfavorable circumstances, of fighting for 
their own hand, dragging the European 
name in the dirt, and founding an indepen- 
dent authority of some vague, undefinable 
and transitory character. Major Gordon 
listened" to the unfolding of this scheme of 
miserable treachery, and only his strong 
sense of the utter impossibility, and indeed 
the ridiculousness of the project, prevented 
his contempt and indignation finding forcible 
expression. 

Burgevine, the traitor to the Imperial 
cause, the man whose health would not 
allow him to do his duty to his new masters 
in Soochow, thus revealed his plan for defy- 
ing all parties, and for deciding the fate of 
the Dragon Throne. The only reply he 
received was the cold one that it would be 
better and wiser to confine his attention to 
the question of whether he intended to yield 
or not, instead of discussing idle schemes of 
"vaulting ambition." 

Meantime, Chung Wang had come down 
from Nankin to superintend the defence of 
Soochow; and in face of a more capable 
opponent he still did not despair of success, 



112 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



or at the least of making a good fight of it. 
He formed the plan of assuming the offensive 
against Chanzu whilst General Ching was 
employed in erecting his stockades step by 
step nearer to the eastern wall of Soochow. 
In order to prevent the realization of this 
project Major Gordon made several demon- 
strations on the western side of Soochow, 
which had the effect of inducing Chung 
Wang to defer his departure. 

At this conjuncture serious news arrived 
from the south. A large rebel force, assem- 
bled from Chekiang and the silk districts 
south of the Taho lake, had moved up the 
Grand Canal and held the garrison of 
Wokong in close confinement. On the loth 
of October the Imperialists stationed there 
made a sortie, but were driven back with the 
loss of several hundred men killed and 
wounded. 

Hard Fought Battle. 

Their provisions were almost exhausted, 
and it was evident that unless relieved they 
could not hold out many days longer. On 
the 1 2th of October Major Gordon therefore 
hastened to their succor. The rebels held 
a position south of Wokong, and, as .they 
felt sure of a safe retreat, they fought with 
great determination. The battle lasted three 
hours; the guns had to be brought up to 
within fifty yards of the stockade, and the 
whole affair is described as one of the hardest 
fought actions of the war. On the return of 
the contingent to Patachiaou, about thirty 
Europeans deserted the rebels, but Burge- 
vine and one or two others were not with 
them, 

Chung Wang had seized the opportunity 
of Gordon's departure for the relief of 
Wokong to carry out his scheme against 
Chanzu. Taking the Kajow with him, and 
a considerable number of the foreign adven- 



turers, he reached Monding, where the 
Imperialists were strongly intrenched at the 
junction of the main creek from Chanzu 
with the canal. He attacked them, and a 
severely contested struggle ensued, in which 
at first the Taepings carried everything 
before them. But the fortune of the day 
soon veered round. The Kajow was sunk 
by a lucky shot, great havoc was wrought 
by the explosion of a powder-boat, and the 
Imperialists remained masters of a hard- 
fought field. 

Succeeded in Escaping. 

The defection of the Europeans piaced 
Burgevine in serious peril, and only Major 
Gordon's urgent representations and acts of 
courtesy to the Mow Wang saved his life, 
The Taeping leader, struck by the gallantry 
and fair dealing of the English officer, set 
Burgevine free, and the American consul 
thanked Major Gordon for his great kindness 
to that misguided officer. Burgevine cam.e 
out of the whole complication with a reputa- 
tion in every way tarnished. He had not 
even the most common courage which would 
have impelled him to stay in Soochow and 
take the chances of the party to which he 
had attached himself Whatever his natural 
talents might have been, his vanity and 
weakness obscured them all. With the in- 
clination to create an infinity of mischief, it 
must be considered fortunate that his ability 
was so small, for his opportunities were 
abundant. 

The conclusion of the Burgevine incident 
removed a weight from Major Gordon's 
mind. Established on the east and south of 
Soochow, he determined to secure a similar 
position on its western side, when he would 
be able to intercept the communication still 
held by the garrison across the Taho lake. 
In order to attain this object it was necessary, 



CHINESE GORDON." 



113 



in the first place, to carry the stockades at 
VVuliungchow, a village tAvo miles west of 
Patachiaou. The place was captured at the 
first attack and successfijlly held, notwith- 
standing a fierce attempt to recover it under 
the personal direction of Chung Wang, who 
returned for the express purpose. 

This success was followed by others. 
Another large body of rebels had come up 
from the south and assailed the garrison of 
Wokong. On the 26th of October one of 
Gordon's heutenants, Major Kirkham, in- 
flicted a severe defeat upon them, and vigor- 
ously pursued them for several miles. The 
next operation undertaken was the capture 
of the village of Leeku, three miles north of 
Soochow, as the preliminary to investing the 
city on the north. Here Major Gordon re- 
sorted to his usual flanking tactics, and with 
conspicuous success. The rebels fought 
well; one officer was killed at Gordon's side, 
and the men in the stockade were cut do\vn 
with the exception of about forty, who were 
made prisoners. 

The Force too Small. 

Soochow was then assailed on the northern 
as well as on the other sides, but Chung 
Wang's army still sensed to keep open com- 
munications by means of the Grand Canal, 

That army had its principal quarters at 
Wusieh, where it was kept in check by a 
large Imperialist force under Santajin, Li's 
brother, who had advanced from Kongyin 
on the Yangtse. Major Gordon's main diffi- 
culty now arose from the insufficiency of his 
force to hold so wide an extent of country ; 
and in order to procure a reinforcement from 
Santajin, he agreed to assist that commander 
against his able opponent Chung Wang. 
With a view to accomplishing this the Taep- 
ing position at Wanti, two miles north of 
Leeku, was attacked and captured. 
8 



At this stage of the campaign there were 
13,500 men round Soochow, and of these 
8,500 were fully occupied in the defence of 
the stockades, leaving the very small number 
of 5,000 men available for active measures 
in the field. On the other hand, Santajin 
had not fewer than 20,000, and possibly as 
many as 30,000 men under his orders. But 
the Taepings still enjoyed the numercial 
superiority'. They had 40,000 men in 
Soochow, 20,000 at Wusieh, and Chung 
Wang occupied a camp, half-way between 
these places, with 18,000 followers. The 
presence of Chung Wang was also estimated 
tc be worth a corps of 5,000 soldiers. 

Petty Rivalries. 

Had Gordon been free to act, his plan of 
campaign would have been simple and 
decisive. He would have effected a junction 
of his forces with Santajin, he would have 
overwhelmed Chung Wang's 18,000 with 
his combined army of double that strength, 
and he would have appeared at the head of 
his victorious troops before the bewildered 
garrison of Wusieh. It would probably 
have terminated the campaign at a stroke. 
Even the decisive defeat of Chung Wang 
alone might have entailed the collapse of a 
cause now tottering to its fall. But Major 
Gordon had to consider not merely the mili- 
tary quality of his allies, but also their 
jealousies and differences. 

General Ching hated Santajin on private 
grounds as well as on public. He desired a 
monopoly of the profit and honor of the 
campaign. His own reputation would be 
made by the capture of Soochow. It would 
be diminished and cast into the shade were 
another Imperial commander to defeat Chung 
Wang and close the line of the Grand Canal. 
Were Gordon to detach himself from General 
Ching he could not feel sure what that 



114 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



jealous and impulsive commander would do. 
He would certainly not preserve the vigilant 
defensive before Soochow necessary to ensure 
the safety of the army operating to the north. 
The commander of the Ever- Victorious 
Army had consequently to abandon the 
tempting idea of crushing Chung Wang and 
to have recourse to slower methods. 

An Unexpected Retreat. 

On the 19th of November Major Gordon 
collected the whole of his available force to 
attack Fusaiquan, a place on the Grand 
Canal six miles north of Soochow. Here 
the rebels had barred the canal at three dif- 
ferent points, while on the banks they occu- 
pied eight earthworks, which were fortu- 
nately in a very incomplete state. A 
desperate resistance was expected from the 
rebels at this advantageous spot, but they 
preferred their safety to their duty, and 
retreated to Wusieh with hardly any loss. 
In consequence of this reverse Chung Wang 
withdrew his forces from his camp in face of 
Santajin, and concentrated his men at Mon- 
ding and Wusieh for the defence of the Grand 
Canal. The investment of Soochow being 
now as complete as the number of troops 
under the Imperial standard would allow. 
Major Gordon returned to General Ching's 
stockades in front of that place, with the 
view of resuming the attack on the Eastern 
Gate. General Ching and Captain Bonnefoy 
had met with a slight repluse there on the 
14th of October, The stockade in front of 
the east gate was known by the name of 
the Low Mun, and had been strengthened to 
the best knowledge of the Taeping engineers. 
Their position was exceedingly formidable, 
consi^ing of a line of breastworks defended 
at intervals with circular stockades. 

Major Gordon decided upon making a 
night attack, and he arranged his plans from 



the information provided by the European 
and other deserters who had been inside. 
The Taepings were not without their spies 
and sympathizers also, and the intended 
attempt was revealed to them. The attack 
was made at two in the morning of the 27th 
of November, but the rebels had mustered 
in force and received Major Gordon's men 
with tremendous volleys. Even then the 
disciplined troops would not give way, and 
encouraged by the example of their leader, 
who seemed to be at the front and at every 
point at the same moment, fairly held their 
own on the edge of the enemy's position. 

The Troops Confused. 

Unfortunately the troops in support 
behaved badly, and got confused from the 
heavy fire of the Taepings which never 
slackened. Some of them absolutely retired 
and others were landed at the wrong places. 
Major Gordon had to hasten to the rear to 
restore order, and during his absence the 
advanced guard were expelled from their 
position by a forward movement led by Mow 
Wang in person. The attack had failed, 
and there was nothing to do save to draw 
off the troops with as little further loss as 
possible. This was Major Gordon's first 
defeat, but it was so evidently due to the 
accidents inseparable from a night attempt, 
and to the fact that the surprise had been 
revealed, that it produced a less discourag- 
ing effect on officers and men than might 
have seemed probable. Up to this day Major 
Gordon had obtained thirteen distinct vic- 
tor^^s besides the advantage in many minor 
skirmishes. 

Undismayed by this reverse Major Gordon 
collected all his troops and artillery from the 
other stockades, and resolved to attack the 
Low Mun position with his whole force. He 
also collected all his heavy guns and mor- 



CHINESE GORDON." 



115 



tars and connonaded the rebel stockade for 
some time ; but on an advance being ordered 
the assailants were compelled to retire by 
the fire which the Taepings brought to bear 
on them at every available point. Chung 
Wang had hastened down from Wusieh to 
take part in the defence of what was rightly 
regarded as the key of the position at Soo- 
chow, and both he and Mow Wang super- 
intended in person the defence of the Low 
Mun stockade. 

Superb Bravery. 

After a further cannonade the advance was 
again sounded, but this second attack would 
also have failed had not the officers and 
men boldly plunged into the moat or creek 
and swum across. The whole of the stock- 
ades and a stone fort were then carried, and 
the Imperial forces firmly established at a 
point only 900 yards from the inner wall of 
Soochow. Six officers and fifty men were 
killed, and three officers, five Europeans and 
128 men were wounded in this successful 
attack. The capture of the Low Mun 
stockades meant practically the fall of Soo- 
chow. Chung Wang then left it to its fate, 
and all the other Wangs except Mow Wang 
were in favor of coming to terms with the 
Imperialists. Even before this defeat Lar 
Wang had entered into communications 
with General Ching for coming over, and, as 
he had the majority of the troops at Soo- 
chow under his orders, Mow Wang was 
practically powerless, although resolute to 
defend the place to the last. 

Several interviews took place between the 
Wangs and General Ching and Li Hung 
Chang. Major Gordon also saw the former, 
and had one interview with Lar Wang in 
person. The English officer proposed as 
the most feasible plan his surrendering one 
of the gates. During all this period Major 



Gordon had impressed on both of his 
Chinese colleagues the imperative necessity 
there was, for reasons of both policy and 
prudence, to deal leniently and honorably by 
the rebel chiefs. All seemed to be going 
well. General Ching took an oath of 
brotherhood with Lar Wang, Li Hung 
Chang agreed with everything that fell from 
Gordon's lips. The only one exempted from 
this tacit understanding was Mow Wang, 
always in favor of fighting it out and defend- 
ing the town ; and his name was not men- 
tioned for the simple reason that he had 
nothing to do with the negotiations. 

A Gallant Enemy. 

For Mow Wang Major Gordon had 
formed the esteem due to a gallant enemy, 
and he resolved to spare no efforts to save 
his life. His benevolent intentions were 
thwarted by the events that had occurred 
within Soochow. Mow Wang had been 
murdered by the other Wangs, who feared 
that he might detect their plans and prevent 
their being carried out. The death of Mow 
Wang removed the only leader who was 
heartily opposed to the surrender of Soo- 
chow, and on the day after this chief's 
murder the Imperialists received possession 
of one of the gates. The inside of the city 
had been the scene of the most dreadful con- 
fusion. Mow Wang'^ men had sought to 
avenge their leader's death, and, on the 
other hand, the followers of Lar Wang had 
shaved their heads in token of their adhesion 
to the Imperialist cause. 

Some of the more prudent of the Wangs, 
not knowing what turn events might take 
amid the prevailing discord, secured their 
safety by a timely flight. Major Gordon 
kept his force well in hand, and refused to 
allow any of the men to enter the city, where 
they would certainly have exercised the 



116 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



privileges of a mercenary force in respect of 
pillage. Instead of this Major Gordon en- 
deavored to obtain for them two months' pay 
from the Futai, which that official stated his 
inability to procure. Major Gordon there- 
upon resigned in disgust, and on succeeding 
in obtaining one months' pay for his men, 
he sent them back to Quinsan without a dis- 
turbance. 

Nine Headless Bodies. 

The departure of the Ever Victorious 
Army for its headquarters was regarded by 
the Chinese officials with great satisfaction 
and for several reasons. In the flush of the 
success at Soochow both that force and its 
commander seemed in the way of the Futai, 
and to diminish the extent of his triumph. 
Neither Li nor Ching also had the least 
wish for any of the ex-rebel chiefs, men of 
abihty and accustomed to command, to be 
taken into the service of the government. Of 
men of that kind there were already enough. 
General Ching himself was a sufficiently for- 
midable rival to the Futai, without any as- 
sistance and encouragement from Lar Wang 
and the others. Li had no wish to save 
them from the fate of the rebels; and al- 
though he had promised, and General Ching 
had sworn to, their personal safety, he was 
bent on getting rid of them in one way or 
another. 

He feared Major Gordon, but he also 
thought that the time had arrived when he 
could dispense with him and the foreign- 
drilled legion in the same way as he had got 
rid of Sherard Osborn and his fleet. The 
departure of the Quinsan force left him free 
to follow his own inclination. The Wangs 
were invited to an entertainment in the 
Futai 's boat, and Major Gordon saw them 
both in the city and subsequently when on 
their way to Li Hung Chang. The exact 



circumstances of their fate were never 
known ; but nine headless bodies were dis- 
covered on the opposite side of the creek, 
and not far distant from the Futai's quarters. 
It then became evident that Lar Wang 
and his fellow Wangs had been brutually 
murdered. Major Gordon was disposed to 
take the office of their avenger into his own 
hands, but the opportunity of doing so for- 
tunately did not present itself He hastened 
back to Quinsan, where he refused to act 
any longer with such false and dishonorable 
colleagues. The matter was reported to 
Pekin. Both the mandarins sought to clear 
themselves by accusing each the other; and 
a special decree came from Pekin conferring 
on the English officer a very high order and 
the sum of 14,000 dollars. Major Gordon 
returned the money, and expressed his regret 
at being unable to accept any token of honor 
from the Emperor in consequence of the 
Soochow affair. 

Gordon Again in the Field. 

A variety of reasons, all equally credit- 
able to Major Gordon's judgment andsingle- 
mindedness, induced him after two months' 
retirement to abandon his inaction and to 
sink his difference with the Futai. He saw 
very clearly that the sluggishness of the 
Imperial commanders would result in the 
prolongation of the struggle with all its at- 
tendant evils, whereas, if he took the field, 
he would be able to bring it to a conclusion 
within two months. Moreover, the Quinsan 
force, never very amenable to discipline, 
shook off all restraint when in quarters, and 
promised to become as dangerous to the 
government in whose way it was as to the 
enemy against whom it was engaged to 
fight. 

Major Gordon, in view of these facts, 
came to the prompt decision that it was his 



CHINESE GORDON." 



117 



duty, and the course most calculated to do 
good for him to retake the field, and strive 



of February, 1864, he accordingly left 
Quinsan at the head of his men who showed 




CHINESE MANDARIN AND HIS WIFE. 



as energetically as possible to expel the 
rebels from the small part of Kiangsu still 
remaining in their possession. On the i8th 



great satisfaction at the return to active cam- 
paigning. Wusieh had been evacuated on 
the fall of Soochow, and Chung Wang's 



118 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



force retired to Changchovv, while that chief 
himself returned to Nankin. A few weeks 
later General Ching had seized Pingwang, 
thus obtaining the command of another en- 
trance into the Taho Lake. Santajin estab- 
lished his force in a camp not far distant 
from Changchow, and engaged the rebels in 
almost daily skirmishes. 

This was the position of affairs when 
Major Gordon took the field towards the end 
of February, and he at once resolved to carry 
the war into a new country by crossing the 
Taho lake and attacking the town of Yesing 
on its western shores. By seizing this and 
the adjoining towns he hoped to cut the 
rebellion in two, and to be able to attack 
Changchow in the rear. The operations at 
Yesing occupied two days ; but at last the 
rebel stockades were carried with tremend- 
ous loss, not only to the defenders but also 
to a relieving force sent from Liyang, Five 
thousand prisoners were also taken. 

Marching Onward. 

Liyang itself was the next place to be 
attacked ; but the intricacy of the country, 
which was. intersected by creeks and canals, 
added to the fact that the whole region had 
been desolated by famine, and that the rebels 
had broken all the bridges, rendered this 
undertaking one of great difficulty and some 
risk. However, Major Gordon's fortitude 
vanquished all obstacles and when he ap- 
peared before Liyang he found that the rebel 
leaders in possession of the town had come 
to the decision to surrender. At this place 
Major Gordon came into communication 
with the general Paochiaou, who was cover- 
ing the siege operations against Nankin 
which Tseng Kwofan was pressing with 
ever-increasing vigor. 

The surrender of Liyang proved the more 
important, as the fortifications were found to 



be admirably constructed, and as it contained 
a garrison of fifteen thousand men and a plenti- 
ful supply of provisions. From Liyang, Major 
Gordon marched on Kintang, a town due 
north of Liyang, and about half-way between 
Changchow and Nankin. The capture of 
Kintang, by placing Gordon's force within 
striking distance of Changchow and its com- 
munications, would have compelled the rebels 
to suspend these operations and recall their 
forces. 

A Resolute Garrison. 

Unfortunately the attack on Kintang re- 
vealed unexpected difficulties. The garrison 
showed extraordinary determination ; and 
although the wall was breached by the heavy 
fire, two attempts to assault were repulsed 
with heavy loss, the more serious inasmuch 
as Major Gordon was himself wounded below 
the knee, and compelled to retire to his boat. 
This was the second defeat Gordon had ex- 
perienced. 

In consequence of this reverse, which 
dashed the cup of success from Gordon's 
hands when he seemed on the point of 
bringing the campaign to a close in the most 
brilliant manner, the force had to retreat to 
Liyang, whence the commander hastened 
back with one thousand men to Wusieh. 
He reached Wusieh on the 25th of March, 
four days after the repulse at Kintang, and 
he there learnt that Fushan had been taken 
and that Chanzu was being closely attacked. 
The Imperialists had fared better in the 
south. General Ching had captured Kash- 
ingfoo, a strong place in Chekiang, and on 
the very same day as the repulse at Kintang 
Tso Tsung Tang had recovered Hangchow. 

Major Gordon, although still incapacitated 
by his wound from taking his usual foremost 
place in the battle, directed all operations 
from his boat. He succeeded, after numer- 



CHINESE GORDON." 



119 



ous skirmishes, in compelling the Taepings 
to quit their position before Chanzu ; but 
they drew up in force at the village of 
Waisso, where they offered him battle. 
Most unfortunately Major Gordon had to 
entrust the conduct of the attack to his 
lieutenants, Colonels Howard and Rhodes, 
while he superintended the advance of the 
gunboats up the creek. Finding the banks 
were too high to admit of these being use- 
fnlly employed, and failing to establish com- 
munications with the infantry, he discreetly 
returned to his camp, where he found every- 
thing in the most dreadful confusion owing 
to a terrible disaster. 

Routed with Great Loss. 

The infantry in fact had been out-man- 
oeuvred and routed with tremendous loss. 
Seven officers and 265 men had been killed, 
and one officer and sixty-two men wounded. 
Such an overwhelming disaster would have 
crushed any ordinary commander, particu- 
larly when coming so soon after such a rude 
defeat as that at Kingtang. It only roused 
Major Gordon to increased activity. He at 
once took energetic measures to retrieve this 
disaster. He sent his wounded to Quinsan, 
collected fresh troops, and, having allowed 
his own wound to recover by a week's rest, 
resumed in person the attack on Waisso. 
On the loth of April Major Gordon pitched 
his camp within a mile of Waisso, and paid 
his men as the preliminary to the resumption 
of the offensive. 

The attack commenced on the following 
morning, and promised to prove of an ardu- 
ous nature ; but by a skilful flank movement 
Major Gordon carried two stockades in per- 
son, and rendered the whole place no longer 
tenable. The rebels evacuated their position 
and retreated, closely pursued by the Imper- 
ialists. The villagers who had suffered from 



their exactions, rose upon them, and very 
few rebels escaped. The pursuit was con- 
tinued for a week, and the lately victorious 
army of Waisso was practically annihilated. 
The capture of Changchow was to be the 
next crowning success of the campaign. 
For this enterprise the whole of the Ever- 
Victorious Army was concentrated, including 
the ex-rebel contingent of Liyang. On the 
23d of April Major Gordon carried the 
stockades near the west gate. In their cap- 
ture the Liyang men, although led only by 
Chinese, showed conspicuous gallantry, thus 
justifying Major Gordon's belief that the 
Chinese would fight as well under their own 
countrymen as when led by foreigners. 
Batteries were then constructed for the bom- 
bardment of the town itself. Before these 
were completed the Imperialists assaulted, 
but were repulsed with loss. On the follow- 
ing day (April 27th) the batteries opened 
fire, and two pontoon bridges were thrown 
across, when Major Gordon led his men to 
the assault. 

A Bridge of Casks. 
The first attack was repulsed, and a second 
one, made in conjunction with the Imperial- 
ists, fared not less badly. The pontoons 
were lost, and the force suffered a greater 
loss than at any time during the war, with 
the exception of Waisso. The Taepings also 
lost heavily ; and their valor could not alter 
the inevitable result. Changchow had conse- 
quently to be approached systematically by 
trenches, in the construction of which the 
Chinese showed themselves very skilful. The 
loss of the pontoons compelled the formation 
of a cask-bridge ; and, during the extensive 
preparations for renewing the attack, several 
hundred of the garrison came over, reporting 
that it was only the Cantonese who wished to 
fight to the bitter end. 



120 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



On the nth of May, the fourth anniver- 
sary of its capture by Chung Wang, Li 
requested Major Gordon to act in concert 
with him for carrying the place by storm. 
The attack was made in the middle of the 
day, to the intense surprise of the garrison, 
who made only a feeble resistance, and the 
town was at last carried with little loss. 




GENERAL GORDON. 

The commandant, Hoo Wang, was made 
prisoner and executed. This proved to be 
the last action of the Ever Victorious Army, 
which then returned to Quinsan, and was 
quietly disbanded by his commander before 
the 1st of June. 

To sum up the closing incidents of the 
Taeping war, Tayan was evacuated two 
days after the fall of Changchow, leaving 



Nankin alone in their hands. Inside that 
city there was the greatest misery and suffer- 
ing. Tien Wang had refused to take any 
of the steps pressed on him by Chung Wang, 
and when he heard the people were suffering 
from want, all he said was, " Let them eat 
the sweet dew." Tseng Kwofan drew up his 
lines on all sides of the city, and gradually 
drove the despairing rebels be- 
hind the walls. Chung Wang 
sent out the old women and 
children ; and let it be recorded 
to the credit of Tseng Kwot- 
siuen that he did not drive them 
back, but charitably provided 
for their wants, and despatched 
them to a place of shelter. 

In June Major Gordon visited 
Tseng's camp, and he found his 
works covering twenty-four to 
thirty miles, and constructed in 
the most elaborate fashion. The 
Imperialists numbered eighty 
thousand men, but were badly 
armed. Although their pay 
was very much in arrear, they 
were well fed and had great 
confidence in their leader,Tseng 
Kwofan. On the 30th of June, 
Tien Wang, despairing of suc- 
cess, committed suicide by swal- 
lowing golden leaf. Thus died 
the Hungtsiuen who had erected 
the standard of revolt in Kwangsi 
thirteen years before. His son was proclaimed 
Tien Wang on his death becoming known, but 
his reign was brief. 

The last act of all had now arrived. On 
the 19th of Ju>y the Imperialists had run 
a gallery under the wall of Nankin, and 
charged it with forty thousand pounds of 
powder. The explosion destroyed fifty yards 
of the walls, and the Imperialists, attacking 



CHINESE GORDON." 



121 



oh all sides, poured in through the breach. 
Chung Wang made a desperate resistance 
in the interior, holding his own and the Tien 
Wang's place to the last. He made a fur- 
ther stand with a thousand men at the 
southern gate, but his band was over- 
whelmed, and he and the young Tien Wang 
fled into the surrounding country. In this 
supreme moment of danger Chung Wang 
thought more of the safety of his young 
chief than of himself, and he gave him an 
exceptionally good pony to escape on, while 
he himself took a very inferior animal. As a 
consequence Tien Wang the Second escaped, 
while Chung Wang was captured in the hills 
a few days later. 

Captured and Beheaded. 

Chung Wang, who had certainly been the 
hero of the Taeping movement, was beheaded 
on the 7th of August, and the young Tien 
W^ang was eventually captured and executed 
also, by Shen Paochen. For this decisive 
victory, which extinguished the Taeping re- 
bellion, Tseng Kwofan, whom Gordon called 
' generous, fair, honest and patriotic," was 
made a Hou, or Marquis, and his brother 
Tseng Kwotsiuen an Earl. 

Although Gordon took no direct part in 
the closing scene of Taeping power at Nan- 
kin, everybody felt, and history accepts the 
view, that the triumphant and speedy sup- 
pression of the rebellion was due to his ex- 
traordinary military successes. He himself, 
with characteristic modesty, was disposed to 
minimize the importance of his services ; and 
he often declared that the Imperialists were 
certain to have o\ercome the Taepings eventu- 
ally, although their caution and military in- 
experience might have prolonged the strug- 
gle. Another opinion to which he strongly 
adhered was, that the Chinese did not require 
European leading, that they were very good 



under their own officers, and that the inevi- 
table consequence of their being placed under 
Europeans was that they became rebels to 
their government. 

These opinions show the disinterested spirit 
in which he served the Chinese. He fought 
the Taepings not for any empty or vain- 
glorious desire to make a military reputa- 
tion, but because he saw an opportunity of 
rendering a great service to a suffering people, 
among whom the horrors of a civil war had 
spread death and disease. It is impossible 
to exaggerate the impression made by his 
disinterestedness on the Chinese people, who 
elevated him for his courage and military' 
prowess to the pedestal of a national god of 
war. The cane which he carried when lead- 
ing his men to the charge became known as 
"Gordon's wand of victory; " and the troops 
whom he trained, and converted by success 
from a rabble into an army, formed the 
nucleus of China's modem army. 

Brilliant Services. 

The service he rendered his adopted coun- 
try was, therefore, lasting as w'ell as striking, 
and the gratitude of the Chinese has, to their 
credit, proved not less durable. The name 
of Gordon is still one to conjure with among 
the Chinese, and if ever China were placed in 
the same straits, she would be the more will- 
ing, from his example, to entrust her cause 
to an English officer. As to the military 
achievements of General Gordon in China, 
nothing fresh can be said. They speak in- 
deed for themselves, and they form the most 
solid portion of the reputation which he 
gained as a leader of men. In the history 
of the Manchu dynasty he will be known as 
" Chinese Gordon ; " although for others his 
earlier soubriquet must needs give place, from 
his heroic and ever-regjettable death, to that 
of " Gordon of Khartoum." 



CHAPTER VI. 
PRINCE KUNQ AND THE REGENCY. 



WHILE the suppression of the 
Taeping rebellion was in pro- 
gress, events of great interest 
and importance happened at 
Pekin. When the allied forces approached 
that city in i860, the Emperor Hienfung fled 
to Jehol, and kept himself aloof from all the 
peace negotiations which were conducted to 
a successful conclusion by his brother, Prince 
Kung. After the signature of the convention 
in Pekin, ratifying the Treaty of Tientsin, 
he refused to return to his capital ; and he 
even seems to have hoped that he might, by 
asserting his Imperial prerogative, transfer the 
capital from Pekin to Jehol, and thus evade 
one of the principal concessions to the for- 
eigners. But if this was impossible, he was 
quite determined, for himself, to have nothing 
to do with them, and during the short re- 
mainder of his life he kept his Court at Jehol. 
While his brother was engaged in meeting 
the difficulties of diplomacy, and in arranging 
the conditions of a novel situation, Hienfung, 
by collecting round his person the most big- 
oted men of his family, showed that he pre- 
ferred those counsellors who had learnt 
nothing from recent events, and who would 
support him in his claims to undiminished 
superiority and inaccessibility. Prominent 
among the men in his confidence was Prince 
Tsai, and among his advisers were several 
inexperienced and impulsive members of the 
Manchu family. They were all agreed in the 
policy of recovering, at the earliest possible 
moment, what they considered to be the 
natural and prescriptive right of the occupant 
122 



of the Dragon Throne to treat all othei 
potentates as in no degree equal to himself. 
But the continued residence of the Empe- 
ror at Jehol was not popular with either his 
own family or the inhabitants of Pekin. 
The members of the Manchu clan, who re- 
ceived a regular allowance during the Empe- 
ror's residence at Pekin, were reduced to the 
greatest straits, and even to the verge of 
starvation, while the Chinese naturally re- 
sented the attempt to remove the capital to 
any other place. This abnegation of author- 
ity by Hienfung, for his absence meant 
nothing short of that, could not have been 
prolonged indefinitely, for a Chinese Empe- 
ror has many religious and secular duties to 
perform which no one else can discharge, 
and which, if not discharged, would reduce 
the office of Emperor to a nonenity. 

His Case Hopeless. 

Reports began to be spread of the serious 
illness of the Emperor, and a pamphlet which 
enjoyed considerable circulation stated that 
" his doctors declared his case to be hopeless, 
and that, even if he promptly abandoned 
some pernicious habits, he could not hope to 
live beyond six months," All the available 
evidence went to show that he did not take 
any precautions, but during the summer 
nothing definite was stated as to his health, 
although rumors of the gravity of Hienfung 's 
complaint continued to circulate so freely 
that the announcement of his death at any 
moment would not have caused surprise. 
The superstitious were the more disposed to 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



• 123 



believe that something extraordinary might 
happen, because a comet appeared in the sky 
and remained some weeks ; for in China, as 
in mediaeval Europe, it was held — 

"When beggars die there are no comets seen, 
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of 
princes." 

In August Prince Kung hastened to Jehol, 
the object of his journey, and indeed the 
journey itself, being kept secret. Not merely 
was Hienfung dying, but it had become known 
to Prince Kung and his friends that he had 
left the governing authority during the minor- 
ity of his son, a child less than six years of 
age, to a Board of Regency composed of 
eight of the least intelligent and most arro- 
gant and self-seeking members of the Im- 
perial family, with Prince Tsai at their head. 
The Emperor died on the 2 2d of August. 
A few hours later the Imperial decree notify- 
ing the last wishes of the ruler as to the 
mode of government was promulgated. The 
Board of Regency assumed the nominal 
control of afifaTrs, and Hienfung's son was 
proclaimed Emperor under the style of 
Chiseang. 

Intrigue to Obtain Power. 

In all of these arrangements neither Prince 
Kung nor his brothers, nor the responsible 
ministers at the capital, had had the smallest 
part. It was an intrigue among certain 
members of the Imperial clan to possess 
themselves of the ruling power, and for a 
time it seemed as if their intrigue would be 
only too successful. Nothing happened 
during the months of September and Octo- 
ber to disturb their confidence, for they 
remained at Jehol, and at Pekin the routine 
of government continued to be performed 
by Prince Kung. That statesman and his 
colleagues employed the interval in arrang- 



ing their own plan of action, and in making 
sure of the fidelity of a certain number of 
troops. 

Throughout these preparations Prince 
Kung was ably and energetically supported 
by his brother, Prince Chun, by his col- 
league, Wansiang, and by his aged father- 
in-law, the minister Kweiliang. But the 
conspirators could not keep the young 
Emperor at Jehol indefinitely, and when, 
at the end of October, it became known that 
he was on the point of returning to Pekin, 
it was clear that the hour of conflict had 
arrived. At Jehol the Board of Regency 
could do little harm; but once its preten- 
sions and legality were admitted at the 
capital, all the ministers would have to take 
their orders from it, and to resign the func- 
tions which they had retained. The main 
issue was whether Prince Kung or Prince 
Tsai was to be supreme. 

Arrival of the Emperor. 
On the 1st of November the young Em- 
peror entered his capital in state. It was 
said that he was driven through the streets 
in a carriage, sitting on his mother's lap, 
while the Empress Dowager, or the princi- 
pal widow of Hienfung, occupied another 
seat in the same carriage ; but no European 
actually saw the cortege, because Prince Kung 
had asked the ministers as a favor to keep 
their suites at home until the procession 
reached the palace. A large number ot 
soldiers, still dressed in their white mourn- 
ing, accompanied their Sov^ereign from Jehol; 
but Shengpao's garrison was infinitely more 
numerous, and thoroughly loyal to the cause 
of Prince Kung. The majority of the Re- 
gents had arrived with the reigning prince; 
those who had not yet come were on the 
road, escorting the dead body of Hienfung 
towards its resting-place. 



124 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



If a blow was to be struck at all, now was 
the time to strike it. The Regents had not 
merely placed themselves in the power of 
their opponent, but they had actually brought 
with them the young Emperor, without whose 
person Prince Kung could have accomplished 
little. Prince Kung had spared no effort to 
secure, and had fortunately succeeded in 
obtaining, the assistance and co-operation of 
the Empress Dowager, Hienfung's principal 
widow, named Tsi An. Her assent had been 
obtained to the proposed plot before the 
arrival in Pekin, and it now only remained 
to carry it out. 

Not Given a Choice. 

On the day following the entry into the 
capital, Prince Kung hastened to the palace, 
and, producing before the astonished Regents 
an Imperial Edict ordering their dismissal, 
he asked them whether they obeyed the 
decree of their Sovereign, or whether he 
must call in his soldiers to compel them. 
Prince Tsai and his companions had no 
choice save to signify their acquiescence in 
what they could not prevent ; but, on leav- 
ing the chamber in which this scene took 
place, they hastened towards the Emperor's 
apartments in order to remonstrate against 
their dismissal, or to obtain from him some 
counteredict reinstating them in their posi- 
tions. They were prevented from carrying 
out their purpose, but this proof of contu- 
macy sealed their fate. They were promptly 
arrested, and a second decree was issued 
ordering their degradation from their official 
and hereditary rank. To Prince Kung and 
his allies was entrusted the charge of trying 
and punishing the offenders. 

The next step was the proclamation of a 
new Regency, composed of the two em- 
presses, Tsi An, principal widow of Hien- 
fung, and Tsi Thsi, mother of the young 



Emperor. Two precedents for the adminis- 
tration being entrusted to an empress were 
easily found by the Hanlin doctors during 
the Ming dynasty, when the Emperors Chit- 
song and Wanleh were minors. Special 
edicts were issued and arrangements made for 
the transaction of business during the con- 
tinuance of the Regency, and as neither of 
the empresses knew Manchu it was specially 
provided that papers and documents, which 
were always presented in that language, 
should be translated into Chinese. 

Concurrently with these measures for the 
settlement of the Regency happened the 
closing scenes in the drama of conspiracy 
which began so successfully at Jehol and 
ended so dramatically at Pekin. For com- 
plete success and security it was necessary 
that all the ringleaders should be captured, 
and some of them were still free. 

Arrested and Executed. 

The bravest, if not the ablest, of the late 
Board of Regency, Sushuen, remained at 
large. He had been charged with the high 
and honorable duty of escorting the remains 
of Hienfung to the capital. It was most 
important that he should be seized before he 
became aware of the fate that had befallen 
his colleagues. Prince Chun volunteered to 
capture the last, and in a sense the most for- 
midable, of the intriguers himself, and on 
the very day that the events described 
happened at Pekin he rode out of the capital 
at the head of a body of Tartar cavalry. 

On the following night Prince Chun 
reached the spot where he was encamped, 
and, breaking into the house, arrested him 
whilst in bed. Sushuen did not restrain his 
indignation, and betrayed the ulterior plans 
entertained by himself and his associates by 
declaring that Prince Chun had been only 
just in time to prevent a similar fate befalling 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



125 



himself. He was at once placed on his trial 
with the other prisoners, and on the loth of 
November the order was given in the Em- 
peror's name for their execution. Sushuen 
was executed on the public ground set apart 
for that purpose; but to the others, as a 
special favor from their connection with the 
Imperial family, was sent the silken cord, 
with which they were permitted to put an 
end to their existence. 

Strange Stroke of Misfortune. 

The events of this introductory period 
may be appropriately concluded with the 
strange stroke of misfortune that befell Prince 
Kung in the spring of 1865, and which 
seemed to show that he had indulged some 
views of personal ambition. The affair had 
probably a secret history, but if so the truth 
is hardly likely to be ever known. The 
known facts were as follows : On the 2d of 
April, 1865, there appeared an edict degrad- 
ing the Prince in the name of the two Regent- 
Empresses. The charge made against him 
was of having grown arrogant and assumed 
privileges to which he had no right. He 
was at first "diligent and circumspect," but 
he has now become disposed "to overrate 
his own importance." In consequence, he 
was deprived of all his appointments and dis- 
missed from the scene of public affairs. 

There was not much likelihood that a man 
who had taken so decisive a share in arrang- 
ing the accession of the ruling prince, and in 
the' appointment of the Regents during his 
minority, would tamely acquiesce in being 
set on one side by the decree of two women. 
All his friends on the Imperial Council peti- 
tioned the Throne, representing in the plainest 
terms the great inconvenience that would be 
entailed by the withdrawal of Prince Kung 
from the control of public affairs. It was 
significantly observed in one of these memo- I 



rials that "if the Imperial household be the 
first to begin misunderstandings " there was 
no telling where the excitement would not 
extend. These representations could not 
fail to produce their due effect. 

Five weeks after his fall Prince Kung was 
reinstated, on the 8th of ^lay, in all his 
oflfices, with the exception- of that of Presi- 
dent of the Council. This episode, which 
might have produced grave complications, 
closed wnth a return to almost the precise 
state of things previously existing. There 
was one important difference. The two em- 
presses had asserted their predominance. 
Prince Kung had hoped to be supreme, and 
to rule uncontrolled. From this time forth 
he was content to be their minister and ad- 
viser, on terms similar to those that would 
have applied to any other official. 

Trouble in Remote Quarters. 

The year 1865, which witnessed this very 
interesting event in the history of the Chinese 
Government, beheld before its close the de- 
parture of Sir Frederick Bruce from Pekin, 
and the appointment of Sir Rutherford Al- 
cock, who had been the first British minister 
to Japan during the critical period of the in- 
troduction of foreign intercourse with that 
country, to fill the post of Resident Min- 
ister at Pekin. 

While the events which have been set 
forth were happening in the heart of China, 
other misfortunes yet had befallen the exe- 
cutive in the more remote quarters of the 
realm, but resulting none the less in the loss 
and ruin of provinces, and in the subv^ersion 
of the Emperor's authority. Two great 
uprisings of the people occurred in opposite 
directions, both commencing while the Taep- 
ing rebellion was in full force, and continu- 
ing to disturb the country for many years 
after its suppression. The one had for its 



126 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



scene the great south-western province of 
Yunnan ; the other the two provinces of the 
north-west, Shensi and Kansuh, and extend- 
ing thence westwards to the Pamir. They 
resembled each other in one point, and that 
was that they were instigated and sustained 
by the Mahomedan population alone. 

The Panthays and the Tungani were 
either indigenous tribes or foreign immi- 



The Panthay rising calls for description in 
the first place, because it began at an earlier 
period than the other, and also because the 
details have been preserved with greater 
fidelity. Mahomedanism is believed to have 
been introduced into Yunnan in or about the 
year 1275, and it made most progress 
among the so-called aboriginal tribes, the 
Lolos and the Mantzu. The officials were 




CHINESE PEDLER. 



grants who had adopted or imported the 
tenets of Islam. Their sympathies with the 
Pekin Government were probably never very 
great, but they were impelled in both cases 
to revolt more by local tyranny than by 
any distinct desire to cast off the authority 
of the Chinese ; but, of course, the obvious 
embarrassment of the central executive en- 
couraged by simplifying the task of rebellion. 



mostly Chinese or Tartars, and, left practi- 
cally free from control, they more often 
abused their power than sought to employ it 
for the benefit of the people they governed. 
In the very first year of Hicnfung's reign 
(185 i) a petition reached the capital from a 
Mahomedan land proprietor in Yunnan 
named Ma Wenchu, accusing the Emperor's 
officials of the gravest crimes, and praying 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



127 



that "a just and honest man" might be 
sent to redress the wrongs of an injured and 
long-suffering people. 

The petition was carefully read and favor- 
ably considered at the capital ; but beyond a 
gracious answer the Emperor was at the 
time powerless to apply a remedy to the evil. 
Four years passed away without any open 
manifestation of the deep discontent smoul- 
dering below the surface. But in 1855 the 
Chinese and the Mahomedan laborers quar- 
relled in one of the principal mines of the 
province, which is covered with mines of 
gold, iron, and copper. It seems that the 
greater success of the Mahomedans in the 
uncertain pursuit of mining had roused the 
displeasure of the Chinese. Disputes ensued, 
in which the Mussulmans added success in 
combat to success in mining ; and the official 
appointed to superintend the mines, instead 
of remaining with a view to the restoration of 
order, sought his personal safety by precipi- 
tate flight to the town of Yunnan. During 
his absence the Chinese population raised a 
levy en masse, attacked the Mahomedans 
who had gained a momentary triumph, and 
compelled them by sheer weight of numbers 
to beat a hasty retreat to their own homes in 
a different part of the province. 

Ill-"Will Against the Mahomedans. 

This success was the signal for a general 
outcry against the Mahomedans, who had 
long been the object of the secret ill-will of 
the other inhabitants. Massacres took place 
in several parts of Yunnan, and the followers 
of the Prophet had to flee for their lives. 

Among those who were slain during these 
popular disorders was a young chief named 
Ma Sucheng ; and when the news of his 
murder reached his native village, his younger 
brother. Ma Sien, who had just received a 
small military command, declared his inten- 



tion to avenge him, and fled to join the 
Mahomedan fugitives in the mountains. In 
this secure retreat they rallied their forces, 
and, driven to desperation by the promptings 
of want, they left their fastnesses with the 
view of regaining what they had lost. In 
this they succeeded better than they could 
have hoped for. The Chinese population 
experienced in their turn the bitterness of 
defeat; and the mandarins had the less 
difficulty in concluding a temporary under- 
standing between the exhaused combatants. 
Tranquillity was restored, and the miners 
resumed their occupations. 

Plot for a General Massacre. 

But the peace was deceptive, and in a little 
time the struggle was renewed with increased 
fur)'. In this emergency the idea occurred 
to some of the officials that an easy and 
efficacious remedy of the difficulty in which 
they found themselves would be provided by 
the massacre of the whole Mussulman popu- 
lation. In this plot the foremost part was 
taken by Hwang Chung, an official who 
bitterly hated the Mahomedans. He suc- 
ceeded in obtaining the acquiescence of all 
his colleagues with the exception of the 
Viceroy of the province, who exposed the 
iniquit)^ of the design, but who, destitute of 
all support, was powerless to prevent its exe- 
cution. At the least he resolved to save his 
honor and reputation by committing suicide, 
and he and his wife were found one morning 
hanging up in the hall of the yamen. His 
death simplified the execution of the project 
which his refusal might possibly have pre- 
vented. 

The 19th of May, 1856, was the date 
fixed for the celebration of this Chinese 
St. Bartholomew. But the secret had not 
been well kept. The Mahomedans, whether 
warned or suspicious, distrusted the authori- 



128 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



ties and their neighbors, and stood valiantly 
on their guard. At this time they looked 
chiefly to a high priest named Ma Tesing for 
guidance and instruction. But although on 
the klert they were, after all, taken to some 
extent by surprise, and many of them were 
massacred after a more or less unavailing 
resistance. But if many of the Mussulmans 
were slain, the survivors were inspired with a 
desperation which the mandarins had never 
contemplated. From one end of Yunnan to 
the other the Mahomedans, in face of great 
personal peril, rose by a common and spon- 
taneous impulse, and the Chinese population 
was compelled to take a hasty refuge in the 
towns. 

They Held the City. 
At Talifoo, where the Mahomedans formed 
a considerable portion of the population, the 
most desperate fighting occurred, and after 
three days' carnage the Mussulmans, under 
Tu Wensiu, were left in possession of the 
city. Their success inspired them with the 
hope of retaining the freedom they had won, 
and, impressed with the conviction that noth- 
ing would atone for their acts of rebellion in 
the eyes of the government, they had no 
choice save to exert themselves for the reten- 
tion of their independence. The rebels did 
not remain without leaders, whom they will- 
ingly recognized and obeyed ; for the kwan- 
shihs, or chiefs, who had accepted titles of 
authority from the Chinese, cast off their 
allegiance and placed themselves at the head 
of the popular movement. The priest Ma 
Tesing was raised to the highest post of all 
as Dictator, but Tu Wensiu admitted no 
higher authority than his own within the 
walls of Talifoo. Ma Tesing had performed 
the pilgrimage to Mecca, he had resided at 
Constantinople for two years, and his repu- 
tation for knowledge and saintliness stood 



highest among his co-religionists. He was 
.therefore a man in high repute. 

While Ma Tesing exercised the supremacy 
due to his age and attainments, the young 
chief Ma Sien led the rebels in the field. 
His energy was most conspicuous, and in 
the year 1858 he thought he was sufficiently 
strong to make an attack upon the city of 
Yunnan itself. His attack was baffled by 
the resolute defence of an officer named Lin 
Tzuchin, who had shown great courage as a 
partisan leader against the insurgents before 
he was entrusted with the defence of the 
provincial capital. Ma Sien was compelled 
to beat a retreat, and to devote himself to the 
organization of the mahy thousand Ijen or 
Lolos recruits who signified their attachment 
to his cause. For the successful defence of 
Yunnan, Lin was made a Titu, and gradually 
collected into his own hands such authority 
as still remained to the Emperor's lieutenants. 

Suicide of a Mandarin. 

On both sides preparations were made for 
the renewal of the struggle, but before the 
year 1858 ended Ma Sien met with a second 
repulse at the town of Linan. The year 
1859 was not marked by any event of signal 
importance, although the balance of success 
inclined on the whole to the Mussulmans. 
But in the following year the Mahomedans 
drew up a large force, computed to exceed 
50,000 men, round Yunnanfoo, to which they 
laid vigorous siege. The Imperialists were 
taken at a disadvantage, and the large 
number of people who had fled for shelter 
into the town rendered the small store of 
provisions less sufficient for a protracted 
defence. Yunnanfoo was on the point of 
surrender when an event occurred which not 
merely relieved it from its predicament, but 
altered the whole complexion of the struggle. 

The garrison had made up its mind to 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



129 



yield. Even the brave Lin had accepted the 
inevitable, and begun to negotiate with the 
two rebel leaders, Ma Sien and the priest 
Ma Tesing. Those chiefs, with victory in 
their grasp, manifested an unexpected and 
surprising moderation. Instead of demand- 
ing from Lin a complete and unconditional 
surrender, they began to discuss with him 
what terms could be agreed upon for the 
cessation of the war and for the restoration 
of tranquillity to the province. At first it 
was thought that these propositions con- 
cealed some intended treachery, but their 
sincerity was placed beyond dispute by the 
suicide of the mandarin Hwang Chung, who 
had first instigated the people to massacre 
their Mahomedan brethren. 

Deserters to the Government. 

The terms of peace were promptly ar- 
ranged, and a request was forwarded to Pekin 
for the ratification of a convention concluded 
under the pressure of necessity with some of 
the rebel leaders. The better to conceal the 
fact that this arrangement had been made 
with the principal leader of the disaffected, 
Ma Sien changed his name to Ma Julung, 
and received the rank of general in the 
Chinese service ; while the high priest ac- 
cepted as his share the not inconsiderable 
pension of $28,000 a month. 

ft is impossible to divine the true reasons 
which actuated these instigators of rebellion 
in their decision to go over to the side of 
the government. They probably thought 
that they had done sufficient to secure all 
practical advantages, and that any persistence 
in hostilities would only result in the increased 
misery and impoverishment of the province. 
They thought that their kinsmen and fol- 
lowers would obtain justice and security; 
and, as for themselves, no moment would be 
more opportune for securing the largest pos- 
9 



sible personal advantage with the minimum 
of risk. But they were also influenced by 
other considerations. Powerful as they were, 
there were other Mahomedan leaders seeking 
to acquire the supreme position among their 
co-religionists ; and foremost among these 
was Tu Wensiu, who had reduced the whole 
of Western Yunnan to his sway, and reigned 
at Talifoo. 

The Mahomedan cause, important as it 
was, did not afford scope for the ambitions of 
two such men as Ma Julung and Tu Wensiu, 
The former availed himself of the favorable 
opportunity to settle this difficulty in a prac- 
tical and, as he shrewdly anticipated, the 
most profitable manner for himself person- 
ally, by giving in his adhesion to the govern- 
ment. 

Every Man for Himself. 

This important defection did not bring in 
its train any certainty of tranquillity. Incited 
by the example of their leaders, every petty 
officer and chief thought himself deserving 
of the highest honors, and resolved to fight 
for his own hand. Ma Julung left Yunnan- 
foo for the purpose of seizing a neighboring 
town which had revolted, and during his 
absence one of his lieutenants seized the 
capital, murdered the Viceroy, and threat- 
ened to plunder the inhabitants. Ma Julung 
was summoned to return in hot haste, and as 
a temporary expedient the priest Ma Tesing 
was elected Viceroy. 

When Ma Julung returned with his army 
he had to lay siege to Yunnanfoo, and 
although he promptly effected an entrance 
into the city, it took five days' hard fighting 
in the streets before the force in occupation 
was expelled. The insurgent officer was 
captured, exposed to the public gaze for one 
month in cm iron cage, and then executed in 
a cruel manner. Ma Tesing was deposed 



130 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



from the elevated position which he had held 
for so short a time, and a new Chinese Vice- 
roy arrived from Kweichow. The year 1863 
opened with the first active operations against 
Tu Wensui, who, during these years of dis- 
order in central Yunnan, had been governing 
the western districts with some prudence. 
It would have been better if they had not 
been undertaken, for they only resulted in 
the defeat of the detachments sent by Ma 
Julung to engage the despot of Talifoo. 

Rejected with Disdain. 

Force having failed, they had recourse to 
diplomacy, and Ma Tesing was sent to sound 
Tu Wensiu as to whether he would not imi- 
tate their example and make his peace with 
the authorities. These overtures were re- 
jected with disdain, and Tu Wensiu pro- 
claimed his intention of holding out to the 
last, and refused to recognize the wisdom 
or the necessity of coming to terms with 
the government. The embarrassment of 
Ma Julung and the Yunnan officials, already 
sufficiently acute, was at this conjuncture 
further aggravated by an outbreak in their 
rear among the Miaotze and some other 
mountain tribes in the province of Kwei- 
chow. To the difficulty of coping with a 
strongly placed enemy in front was thus 
added that of maintaining communications 
through a hostile and difficult region. 

A third independent party had also come 
into existence in Yunnan, where an ex-Chi- 
nese official named Liang Shihmei had set 
up his own authority at Linan, mainly, it 
was said, through jealousy of the Mahome- 
dans taken into the service of the govern- 
ment. The greatest difficulty of all was to 
reconcile the pretensions of the different 
commanders, for the Chinese officials, and 
the Futai Tsen Yuying in particular, re- 
garded Ma Julung with no friendly eye. 



With the year 1867, both sides having 
collected their strength, more active opera- 
tions were commenced, and Ma Julung pro- 
ceeded in person, at the head of the best 
troops he could collect, to engage Tu 
Wensiu. 

The Red Flag. 

It was at this time that the Imperialists 
adopted the red flag as their standard in 
contradistinction to the white flag of the 
insurgents. A desultory campaign ensued, 
but although Ma Julung evinced both cour- 
age and capacity, the result was on the whole 
unfavorable to him; and he had to retreat 
to the capital, where events of some import- 
ance had occurred during his absence in the 
field. The Viceroy, who had been staunchly 
attached to Ma Julung, died suddenly and 
under such circumstances as to suggest a 
suspicion of foul play; and Tsen Yuying 
had by virtue of his rank of Futai assumed 
the temporary discharge of his duties. The 
retreat of Ma Julung left the insurgents free 
to follow up their successes; and in the 
course of 1868, the authority of the Em- 
peror had disappeared from every other part 
of the province except the prefectural city 
of Yunnanfoo. 

This bad fortune led the Mussulmans who 
had followed the advice and fortunes of Ma 
Julung to consider whether it would not be 
wise to rejoin their co-religionists, and to at 
once finish the contest by the destruction of 
the government. Had Ma Julung wavered 
in his fidelity for a moment they would have 
all joined the standard of Tu Wensiu, and 
the rule of the Sultan of Talifoo would have 
been established from one end of Yunnan to 
the other, but he stood firm and arrested 
the movement in a summary manner. 

Tu Wensiu, having established the security 
of his communications with Burmah, whence 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



131 



he obtained supplies of arms and munitions 
of war, devoted his efforts to the capture of 
Yunnanfoo, which he completely invested. 
The garrison was reduced to the lowest 
straits before Tsen Yuying resolved to come 
to the aid of his distressed colleague. The 
loss of the prefectural town would not 
merely entail serious consequences to the 
Imperialist cause, but he felt it would per- 
sonally compromise him as the Futai at 
Pekin. In the early part of 1869, there- 
fore, he threw himself into the town with 
three thousand men, and the forces of Tu 
Wensiu found themselves obliged to with- 
draw from the eastern side of the city. A 
long period of inaction followed, but during 
this time the most important events hap- 
pened with regard to the ultimate result. 

No Hope of Success. 

Ma Julung employed all his artifice and 
arguments to show the rebel chiefs the utter 
hopelessness of their succeeding against the 
whole power of the Chinese Empire, which, 
from the suppression of the Taeping rebel- 
lion, would soon be able to be employed 
against them. They felt the force of his 
representations, and they were also op- 
pressed by a sense of the slow progress 
they had made towards the capture of 
Yunnanfoo. Some months after Tsen Yu- 
ying's arrival, those of the rebels who were 
encamped to the north of the city hoisted 
the red flag and gave in their adhesion to 
the government. 

Then Ma Julung resumed active opera- 
tions against the other rebels, and obtained 
several small successes. A wound received 
during one of the skirmishes put an end to 
his activity, and the campaign resumed its 
desultory character. But Ma Julung's ill- 
ness had other unfortunate consequences; 
for during it Tsen Yuying broke faith with 



those of the rebel leaders who had come 
over, and put them all to a cruel death. 
The natural consequence of this foolish 
and ferocious act was that the Mahomedans 
again reverted to their desperate resolve to 
stand firmly by the side of Tu Wensiu. 

The war again passed into a more active 
phase. Ma Julung had recovered from his 
wounds. A new Viceroy, and a man of 
some energy, was sent from Pekin, Lin 
Yuchow had attracted the notice of Tseng 
Kwofan among those of his native province 
who had responded to his appeal to defend 
Hoonan against the Taepings sixteen years 
before ; and shortly before the death of the 
last Viceroy of Yunnan, he had been made 
Governor of Kweichow. To the same pa- 
tron at Pekin he now owed his elevation to 
the Viceroyalty. It is said that he lost the 
energy which once characterized him ; but 
he brought with him several thousand 
Hoonan braves, whose courage and militarv' 
experience made them invaluable auxiliaries 
to the embarrassed authorities in Yunnan, 

Many Tovois Recovered. 
The details of the campaign that followed 
would fail to be instructive, and the mention 
of names that are not merely uncouth but 
unpronounceable would only repel the 
reader. The result is the principal, or, in- 
deed, the single fact worthy of our consid- 
eration. In the course of the year 1870 
most of the towns in the south and the 
north of Yunnan were recovered, and com- 
munications were re-opened with Szchuen. 
As soon as the inhabitants perceived that the 
government had recovered its strength, they 
hastened to express their joy at the change 
by repudiating the white flag which Tu 
Wensiu had compelled them to adopt. The 
Imperialists even to the last increased the 
difficulty of their work of pacification by 



132 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



exhibiting a relentless cruelty ; and while 
the inhabitants thought to secure their safety 
by a speedy surrender, the Mussulmans 
were rendered more desperate in their re- 
solve to resist. 

The chances of a Mahomedan success 
were steadily diminishing when Yang Yuko, 
a mandarin of some military capacity, who 
had begun his career in the most approved 
manner as a rebel, succeeded in capturing 
the whole of the salt-producing district 
which had been the main source of their 
strength. In the year 1872 all the prelimi- 
nary arrangements were made for attacking 
Talifoo itself A supply of rifles had been 
received from Canton or Shanghai, and a 
few pieces of artillery had also arrived. With 
these improved weapons the troops of Ma 
Julung and Tsen Yuying enjoyed a distinct 
advantage over the rebels of Talifoo. 

A Terrible Plague. 

The horrors of war were at this point in- 
creased by those of pestilence, for the plague 
broke out at Puerh on the southern frontier, 
and, before it disappeared, devastated the 
whole of the province, completing the effect 
of the civil war, and ruining the few districts 
which had escaped from its ravages. The 
direct command of the siege operations at 
Talifoo was entrusted to Yang Yuko, a 
hunchback general, who had obtained a re- 
putation for invincibility ; and when Tsen 
Yuying had completed his own operations 
he also proceeded to the camp before the 
Mahomedan capital for the purpose of tak- 
ing part in the crowning operation of the 
warr 

Tu Wensiu and the garrison of Talifoo, 
although driven to desperation, could not 
discover any issue from their difficulties. 
They were reduced to the last stage of desti- 
tution, and starvation stared them in the face. 



In this extremity Tu Wensiu, although there 
was every reason to believe that the Im- 
perialists would not fulfil their pledges, and 
that surrender simply meant yielding to a 
cruel death, resolved to open negotiations 
with Yang Yuko for giving up the town. The 
Emperor's generals signified their desire for 
the speedy termination of the siege, at the 
same time expressing acquiescence in the 
general proposition of the garrison being 
admitted to terms. Although the Futai and 
Yang Yuko had promptly come to the 
mutual understanding to celebrate the fall of 
Talifoo by a wholesome massacre, they ex- 
pressed their intention to spare the other 
rebels on the surrender of Tu Wensiu for 
execution and on the payment of an indem- 
nity. 

The terms were accepted, although the 
more experienced of the rebels warned their 
comrades that they would not be complied 
with. On the 15th of January, 1873, Tu 
Wensiu, the original of the mythical Sultan 
Suliman, the fame of whose power filled the 
world, and who had been an object of the 
solicitude of the Indian government, accepted 
the decision of his craven followers as express- 
ing the will of Heaven, and gave himself up 
for execution. 

Rode in State to His Death. 

He attired himself in his best and choicest 
garments, and seated himself in the yellow 
palanquin which he had adopted as one of 
the few marks of royal state that his oppor- 
tunities allowed him to secure. Accom- 
panied by the men who had negotiated the 
surrender, he drove through the streets re- 
ceiving for the last time the homage of his 
people, and out beyond the gates to Yang 
Yuko's camp. Those who saw the cortege 
marvelled at the calm indifference of the 
fallen despot. He seemed to have as little 




PAGODA AT SHANGHAI. CHINA 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



133 



fear of his fate as consciousness of his sur- 
roundings. The truth soon became evi- 
dent. He had baffled his enemies by taking 
slow poison. Before he reached the presence 
of the Futai, who had wished to gloat over 
the possession of his prisoner, the opium had 
done its work, and Tu Wensiu was no 
more. It seemed but an inadequate triumph 
to sever the head from the dead body, and 
to send it preserved in honey as the proof of 
victory to Pekin. 

A Frightful Slaughter. 

Four days after Tu Wensiu 's death, the 
Imperialists were in complete possession of 
the town, and a week later they had taken 
all their measures for the execution of the 
fell plan upon which they had decided. A 
great feast was given for the celebration of 
the convention, and the most important of the 
Mahomedan commanders, including those 
who had negotiated the truce, were present. 
At a given signal they were attacked and 
murdered by soldiers concealed in the gal- 
lery for the purpose, while six cannon shots 
announced to the soldiery that the hour had 
arrived for them to break loose on the de- 
fenceless townspeople. The scenes that fol- 
lowed are stated to have surpassed descrip- 
tion. It was computed that 30,000 men 
alone perished after the fall of the old 
Pathay capital, and the Futai sent to Yun- 
nanfoo twenty-four large baskets full of 
human ears, as well as the heads of the 
seventeen chiefs. 

With the capture of Talifoo the great 
Mahomedan rebellion in the south-west, to 
which the Burmese gave the name of 
Panthay, closed, after a desultory struggle 
of nearly eighteen years. The war was con- 
ducted with exceptional ferocity on both 
sides, and witnessed more than the usual 
amount of falseness and breach of faith 



common to Oriental struggles. Nobody 
benefited by the contest, and the prosperity 
of Yunnan, which at one time had been far 
from inconsiderable, sank to the lowest pos- 
sible point. 

A new class of officials came to the front 
during this period of disorder, and fidelity 
was a sufficient passport to a certain rank. 
Ma Julung, the Marshal Ma of European 
travellers, gained a still higher statiori ; and 
notwithstanding the jealousy of his col- 
leagues, acquired practical supremacy in the 
province. The high priest, Ma Tesing, who 
may be considered as the prime instigator of 
the movement, was executed or poisoned in 
1 874 at the instigation of some of the Chinese 
officials. Yang Yuko, the most successful 
of all the generals, only enjoyed a brief 
tenure of power. It was said that he was 
dissatisfied with his position as commander- 
in-chief, and aspired to a higher rank. He 
also was summoned to Pekin, but never got 
further than Shanghai, where he died, or was 
removed. But, although quiet gradually 
descended upon this part of China, it was 
long before prosperity followed in its train. 

Wide-Spread Discontent. 
About six years after the first mutterings 
of discontent among the Mahomedans in the 
south-w^est, disturbances occurred in the 
north-west provinces of Shensi and Kansuh, 
where there had been many thousand fol- 
lowers of Islam since an early period of 
Chinese history. They were generally 
obedient subjects and sedulous cultivators 
of the soil ; but they were always liable to 
sudden ebullitions of fanaticism or turbul- 
ence, and it was said that during the later 
years of his reign Keen Lung had meditated 
a wholesale execution of the male popula- 
tion above the age of fifteen. The threat, if 
ever made, was never carried out, but the 



134 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



report suffices to show the extent to which 
danger was apprehended from the Tungan 
population. 

The true origin of the great outbreak in 
1 862 in Shensi seems to have been a quarrel 
between the Chinese and the Mahomedan 
militia as to their share of the spoil derived 
from the defeat and overthrow of a brigand 
leader. After some bloodshed, two Impe- 
rial Commissioners were sent from Pekin to 
restore order. The principal Mahomddan 
leader formed a plot to murder the commis- 
sioners, and on their arrival he rushed into 
their presence and slew one of them with his 
own hand. His co-religionist deplored the 
rash act, and voluntarily seized and sur- 
rendered him for the purpose of undergoing 
a cruel death. But, although he was torn to 
pieces, that fact did not satisfy the out- 
raged dignity of the Emperor. 

The Hated Mahomedan. 

A command was issued in Tungche's 
name to the effect that all those who per- 
sisted in following the creed of Islam should 
perish by the sword. From Shensi the out- 
break spread into the adjoining province of 
Kansuh ; and the local garrisons were van- 
quished in a pitched battle at Tara Ussu, 
beyond the regular frontier. The insurgents 
did not succeed, however, in taking any of 
the larger towns of Shensi, and after threat- 
ening with capture the once famous city of 
Singan, they were gradually expelled from 
that province. The Mahomedan rebellion 
within the limits of China proper would not, 
therefore, have possessed more than local 
importance, but for the fact that it encour- 
aged a similar outbreak in the country 
further west, and that it resulted in the sever- 
ance of the Central Asian provinces from 
China for a period of many years. 

The uprising of the Mahomedans in the 



frontier provinces appealed to the secret fears 
as well as to the longings of the Tungan 
settlers and soldiers in all the towns and 
military stations between Souchow and Kash- 
gar. The sense of a common peril, • more 
perhaps than the desire to attain the same 
object, led to revolts at Hami, Barkul, 
Urumtsi, and Turfan, towns which formed a 
group of industrious communities half-way 
between the prosperous districts of Kansuh 
on the one side, and Kashgar on the other. 

Another Insurrection. 

The Tungani at these towns revolted 
under the leading of their priests, and imi- 
tated the example of their co-religionists 
within the settled borders of China by mur- 
dering all who did not accept their creed. 
After a brief interval, which we may attribute 
to the greatness of the distance, to the vigi- 
lance of the Chinese garrison, or to the 
apathy of the population, the movement 
spread to the three towns immediately west 
of Turfan, Karashar, Kucha, and Aksu, 
where it came into contact with, and was 
stopped by, another insurrection under 
Mahomedan, but totally distinct, auspices. 
West of Aksu the Tungan rebellion never 
extended south of the Tian Shan range. 

The defection of the Tungani, who had 
formed a large proportion, if not the majority, 
of the Chinese garrisons, paralyzed the 
strength of the Celestials in Central Asia. 
Both in the districts dependent on Hi, and in 
those ruled from Kashgar and Yarkand, the 
Chinese were beset by many great and per- 
manent difficulties. They were with united 
strength a minority, and now that they were 
divided among themselves almost a hopeless 
minority. 

The peoples they governed were fanatical, 
false, and fickle. The ruler of Khokand and 
the refugees living on his bounty were always 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



135 



on the alert to take most advantage of the 
least slip or act of weakness on the part of 
the governing classes. Their machinations 
had been hitherto baffled, but never before 
had so favorable an opportunity presented 
itself for attaining their wishes as when it 
became known that the whole Mahomedan 
population was up in arms against the 
Emperor, and that communications were 
severed between Kashgar and Pekin. The 
attempts made at earjier periods on the part 
of the members of the old ruling family in 
Kashgar to regain their own by expelling 
the Chinese are a part of history. 

Fled from the Country. 

In 1857 WaH Khan, one of the sons of 
Jehangir, had succeeded in gaining temporary 
possession of the city of Kashgar, and seemed 
for a moment to be likely to capture Yark- 
and also. He fell by his vices. The people 
soon detested the presence of the man to 
whom they had accorded a too hasty wel- 
come. After a rule of four months he fled 
the country, vanquished in the field by the 
Chinese garrison, and followed by the exe- 
crations of the population he had come to 
deliver. 

The invasion of Wali Khan further embit- 
tered the relations between the Chinese and 
their subjects; and a succession of governors 
bore heavily on the Mahomedans. Popular 
dissatisfaction and the apprehension in the 
minds of the governing officials that their 
lives might be forfeited at any moment to a 
popular outbreak added to the dangers of 
the situation in Kashgar itself, when the 
news arrived of the Tungan revolt, and of 
the many other complications which ham- 
pered the action of the Pekin ruler. 

The news of the Mahomedan outbreak in 
China warned the Tungani in Hi that their 
opportunity had come. But although there 



were disturbances as early as January, 1863, 
these were suppressed, and the vigilance of 
the authorities sufficed to keep things quiet 
for another year. Their subsequent inca- 
pacity, or hesitation to strike a prompt blow, 
enabled the Mahomedans to husband their 
resources and to complete their plans. A 
temporary alliance was concluded between 
the Tungani and the Tarantchis and they 
hastened to attack the Chinese troops and 
officials. 

The year 1865 was marked by the pro- 
gress of a sanguinary struggle, during which 
the Chinese lost their principal towns, and 
some of their garrisons were ruthlessly 
slaughtered after surrender. The usual 
scenes of civil war followed. When the 
Chinese were completely vanquished and 
their garrisons exterminated, the victors quar- 
relled among themselves. The Tungani and 
the Tarantchis met in mortal encounter, and 
the former were vanquished and their chief 
slain. When they renewed the contest, 
some months later, they were, after another 
sanguinary struggle, again overthrown. 

Horrors of Civil "War. 
The Tarantchis then ruled the state by 
themselves, but the example they set of 
native rule was, to say the least, not en- 
couraging. One chief after another was 
deposed and murdered. The same year wit- 
nessed no fewer than five leaders in the 
supreme place of power; and when Abul 
Oghlan assumed the title of Sultan the cup 
of their iniquities was already full. In the 
year 1871 an end was at last put to these 
enormities by the occupation of the province 
by a Russian force, and the installation of a 
Russian governor. Although it is probable 
that they were only induced to take this step 
by the fear that if they did not do so Yakoob 
Beg would, the fact remains that the Russian 



136 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



government did a good thing in the cause of 
order by interfering for the restoration of 
tranquillity in the valley of the Hi. 

The Mahomedan outbreaks in southwest- 
ern and northwestern China resulted, there- 
fore, in the gradual suppression of the 
Panthay rebellion, which was completed in 
the twelfth year of Tungche's reign, while 
the Tungan rising, so far as the Central 
Asian territories were concerned, remained 
unquelled for a longer period. The latter 
led to the establishment of an independent 
Tungan confederacy beyond Kansuh, and 
also of the kingdom of Kashgaria ruled by 
Yakoob Beg. The revolt in Hi, after several 
alternations of fortune resulted in the brief 
independence of the Tarantchis, who were 
in turn displaced by the Russians under 
a pledge of restoring the province to the 
Chinese whenever they should return. 

Only a Question of Time. 

Judged by the extent of the territory 
involved, the Mahomedan rebellion might 
be said to be not less important than the 
Taeping ; but the comparison on that ground 
alone would be really delusive, as the numeri- 
cal inferiority of the Mahomedans rendered 
it always a question only of time for the cen- 
tral power to be restored. 

The young Emperor Tungche, therefore, 
grew up amidst continual difficulties, although 
the successes of his principal lieutenants affor- 
ded good reason to believe that, so far as 
they arose from rebels, it was only a question 
of time before they would be finally removed. 
The foreign intercourse still gave cause for 
much anxiety, although there was no appre- 
hension of war. It would have been un- 
reasonable to suppose that the relations 
between the foreign merchants and residents 
and the Chinese could become, after the sus- 
picion and dangers of generations, absolutely 



cordial. The commercial and missionary 
bodies, into which the foreign community 
was naturally divided, had objects of trade 
or religion to advance, which rendered them 
apt to take an unfavorable view of the pro- 
gress made by the Chinese government in 
the paths of civilization, and to be ever skep- 
tical even of its good faith. 

Trying to Obtain Justice. 

The main object with the foreign diplo- 
matic representatives became not more to 
obtain justice for their countrymen than to 
restrain their eagerness, and to confine their 
pretensions to the rights conceded by the 
treaties. A clear distinction had to be 
drawn between undue coercion of the Chi- 
nese government on the one hand, and the 
effectual compulsion of the people to evince 
respect towards foreigners and to comply 
with the obligations of the treaty on the 
other. Instances repeatedly occurred in 
reference to the latter matter, when it would 
have been foolish to have shown weakness, 
especially as there was not the least room to 
suppose that the government possessed at 
that time the power and the capacity to 
secure reparation for, or to prevent the 
repetition of attacks on foreigners. 

Under this category came the riot at 
Yangchow in the year 1868, when some 
missionaries had their houses burnt down, 
and were otherwise maltreated. A similar 
outrage was perpetrated in Formosa ; but 
the fullest redress was always tendered as 
soon as the Executive realized that the 
European representatives attached import- 
ance to the occurrence. The recurrence of 
these local dangers and disputes served to 
bring more clearly than ever before the 
minds of the Chinese Ministers the advisa- 
bility of taking some step on their own part 
towards an understanding with European 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



137 



governments and peoples. The proposal to 
depute a Chinese ambassador to the West 
could hardly be said to be new, seeing that 
it had been projected after the Treaty of 
Nankin, and that the minister Keying had 
manifested some desire to be the first man- 
darin to serve in that novel capacity. 

The American Minister, 
The favorable opportunity of doing so pre- 
sented itself when Mr. Burlingame retired 
from his post as Minister of the United 
States at Pekin. In the winter of 1867-68 
Mr. Burlingame accepted an appointment as 
accredited representative of the Chinese gov- 
ernment to eleven of the principal countries 
of the world, and two Chinese mandarins 
and a certain number of Chinese students 
were appointed to accompany him on his 
tour. The importance of the Burlingame 
Mission was certainly exaggerated at the 
time, and the speculations to which it gave 
rise as to the part China was about to take 
in the movement of the world were no doubt 
based on erroneous data ; but still it would 
be a mistake to say that it failed to produce 
any of the beneficial effect which had been 
expected. It was something for the outer 
world to learn in those days that the Chinese 
represented a great power. 

Mr. Burlingame was sanguine as to the 
future development of China and the inten- 
tion of her Executive, and the expectations 
of his audiences both in America and in 
Europe over leapt all difficulties and spanned 
at a step the growth of years ; but only 
shallow minded observers will deny that Mr. 
Burlingame's widest stretches of fancy were 
supported by an amount of truth which 
events are making clearer every year. Of 
course those who only looked on the surface, 
who saw the difficulties under which China 
staggered, and the dogged pride with which 



she refused the remedy forced upon her by 
foreigners, who had at least as much their 
own interests as hers in view, declared that 
Mr. Burlingame's statements were " enthu- 
siastic fictions." 

The Chinese themselves did not attach as 
much importance as they might have done 
to his efforts, and Mr. Burlingame's Mission 
will be remembered more as an educational 
process for foreigners than as signifying any 
decided change in Chinese policy. His 
death at St. Petersburg, in March, 1870, put 
a sudden and unexpected close to his tour, 
but it cannot be said that he could have 
done more towards the elucidation of Chinese 
questions than he had already accomplished, 
while his bold and optimistic statements, 
after awakening public attention, had already 
begun to produce the inevitable reaction. 

Great Popular Outbreak. 

In 1869 Sir Rutherford Alcock retired, 
and was succeeded in the difficult post of 
English representative in China by Mr. 
Thomas Wade. In the very first year of 
his holding the post an event occurred 
which cast all the minor aggressive acts that 
had preceded it into the shade. It may 
perhaps be surmised that this was the Tient- 
sin massacre — an event which threatened to 
reopen the whole of the China question, and 
which brought France and China to the 
verge of war. It was in June, 1870, on the 
eve of the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian 
war, that the foreign settlements were startled 
by the report of a great popular outbreak 
against foreigners in the important town of 
Tientsin. 

At that city there was a large and ener- 
getic colony of Roman Catholic priests, and 
their success in the task of conversion, small 
as it might be held, was still sufficient to 
excite the ire and fears of the literary and 



138 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



official classes. The origin of mob violence 
is ever difficult to discover, for a trifle suf- 



were spread about as to the cruelties and evil 
practices of those devoted to the service of 




THE FAMOUS PORCELAIN TUWEK. 



fices to set it in motion. But at Tientsin 
specific charges of the most horrible and, it 
need not be said, the most baseless character 



religion. These rumors were diligently cir- 
culated, and it need not cause wonder if, 
when the mere cry of "Fanquai" — Foreign 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



139 



Devil — suflficied to raise a disturbance, these 
allegations resulted in a vigorous agitation 
against the missionaries, who were already 
the mark of popular execration. 

It was well known beforehand that an 
attack on the missionaries would take place 
unless the authorities adopted very efficient 
measures of protection. The foreign resi- 
dents and the consulates were warned of the 
coming outburst, and a very heavy responsi- 
bility will always rest on those who might, 
by the display of greater vigor, have pre- 
vented the unfortunate occurrences that 
ensued. At the same time, allowing for the 
prejudices of the Chinese, it must be allowed 
that not only must the efforts of all foreign 
missionaries be attended with the gravest 
peril, but that the acts of the French priests 
and nuns at Tientsin were, if not indiscreet, 
at least peculiarly calculated to arouse the 
anger and offend the superstitious predilec- 
tions of the Chinese. 

Might Have Been Prevented. 

Had the officials in the town acted with 
promptitude and instituted an official inquiry, 
it is probable that the outbreak might have 
been averted. Such a course had proved 
availing on equally critical occasions in some 
of the towns along the Yangtse; and the 
responsibility of not taking it rested in equal 
proportions bet\veen the Chinese officials and 
the French Consul. At that time Chung 
How, the Superintendent of Trade for the 
three Northern Ports, was the principal offi- 
cial in Tientsin ; but although some represen- 
tations, not as forcible however as the 
occasion demanded, were made to him by 
M. Fontanier, the French Consul, on the 
1 8th of June, three days before the massacre, 
no reply was given, and no precautions were 
taken. 

On the 2 1 St a large crowd assembled out- 



side the Mission House. They very soon 
assumed an attitude of hostility, and it was 
clear that at any moment the attack might 
begin. M. Fontanier hastened off in person 
to Chung How, but his threats seem to have 
been as unavailing as his arguments. On 
his return he found the attack on the point 
of commencing. He made use of menaces, 
and he fired a shot from his revolver, whether 
in self-defence or in the heat of indignation 
at some official treachery will never be 
known. The mob turned upon him, and he 
was murdered. The Chinese then hastened 
to complete the work they had begun. 
Chung How, like Surajah Dowlah, was not 
to be disturbed, and the attack on the Mis- 
sion House and Consulate proceeded, while 
the officials responsible for order remained 
inactive. Twenty-one foreigners in all were 
brutally murdered under circumstances of 
the greatest barbarity, while the number of 
native converts who fell at the same time can 
never be ascertained. 

Feeling of Great Alarm. 
This event naturally produced the greatest 
feeling of alarm, and for the moment it was 
feared that the rioters would proceed to 
attack the rest of the foreign settlement. 
The mandarins still refrained from interven- 
tion, and as there happened to be no gun- 
boat at Tientsin, the foreign residents were 
for the moment placed in an extremely dan- 
gerous predicament. They, of course, took 
all the measures they could to defend them- 
selves, but it was said at the time that if the 
mob had only attacked at once they would 
probably have overcome such resistance as 
the Europeans could then have offered. 
They did not do so, however, chiefly because 
they distrusted or failed to realize their 
strength; and the massacre of Tientsin did 
not assume the larger proportions that were 



140 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



at one moment feared. The turbulent ele- 
ments were partially quieted. 

The Tientsin massacre was followed by a 
wave of anti-foreign feeling over the whole 
country; but although an official brought 
out a work — entitled "Death-blow to Cor- 
rupt Doctrine " — which obtained more than 
a passing notoriety, and notwithstanding that 
some members of the Imperial Family, and 
notably, as it was stated. Prince Chun, 
regarded the movement with favor, the argu- 
ments of Prince Kung and the more moderate 
ministers carried the day, and it was resolved 
to make every concession in the power of 
the government for the pacific settlement of 
the dispute that had arisen with France. 
Compensation was offered and accepted, and 
the unfortunate affair was settled. 

Marriage of the Emperor. 

It had been known for sometime that the 
young ruler had fixed his affections on 
Ahluta, a Manchu lady of good family, 
daughter of Duke Chung, and that the 
Empresses had decided that she was worthy 
of the high rank to which she was to be 
raised. The marriage ceremony was deferred 
on more than one plea until after the 
Emperor had reached his sixteenth birthday, 
but in October, 1872, there was thought to 
be no longer any excuse for postponement, 
and it was celebrated with great splendor on 
the 1 6th of that month. 

The arrangements were made in strict 
accordance with the precedent of the 
Emperor Kanghi's marriage in 1674, that 
ruler having also married when in occupa- 
tion of the throne, and before he had attained 
his majority. It was stated the ceremonial 
was imposing, that the incidental expenses 
were enormous, and that the people were 
very favorably impressed by the demeanor of 
their young sovereign. Four months after 



the celebration of his marriage the formal 
act of conferring upon Tungsche the per- 
sonal control of his dominions was performed. 
In a special decree issued from the Board of 
Rites the Emperor said that he received " the 
commands of their Majesties the two 
Empresses to assume the superintendence of 
business." 

This edict was directed to the Foreign 
Ministers, who in return presented a col- 
lective request to be received in audience. 
Prince Kung was requested "to take his 
Imperial Majesty's orders with reference to 
their reception." The question being thus 
brought to a crucial point, it was not 
unnatural that the Chinese Ministers should 
make the most vigorous resistance they could 
to those details which seemed to and did 
enroach upon the prerogative of the Emperor 
as he had been accustomed to exercise it. 
For, in the first place, they were no longer 
free agents, and Tungche had himself to be 
considered in any arrangement for the recep- 
tion of foreign envoys. 

A Spirited Controversy. 

The discussion of the question assumed a 
controversial character, in which stress was 
laid on the one side upon the necessity of 
the kotow (touching the head to the ground), 
even in a modified form, while on the other 
it was pointed out that the least concession 
was objectionable as the greatest, and that 
China would benefit by the complete settle- 
ment of the question. It says a great deal 
for the fairness and moderation of Prince 
Kung and the ministers with him that, 
although they knew that the Foreign govern- 
ments were not prepared to make the Audi- 
ence Question one of war, or even of the 
suspension of diplomatic relations, they 
determined to settle the matter in the way 
most distasteful to themselves and most 




GIRLS PICKING TEA. 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



141 



agreeable to foreigners, thus showing a con- 
ciliatory disposition. 

On the 29th of June, 1873, Tungche re- 
ceived in audience the ministers of the principal 
Powers at Pekin, and thus gave completeness 
to the many rights and concessions obtained 
from his father and grandfather by the treaties 
of Tientsin and Nankin. The privilege thus 
secured caused lively gratification in the 
minds of all foreign residents, to whom it 
signified the great surrender of the inherent 
right to superiority claimed by the Chinese 
Emperors, and we have recently seen that it 
has been accepted as a precedent. 

The Illustrious Dead. 

The sudden death of Tseng Kwofan in 
the summer of 1872 removed unquestionably 
the foremost public man in China. After 
the fall of Nankin he had occupied the 
highest posts in the Empire, both at that 
city and in the metropolis. He was not 
merely powerful from his own position, but 
from his having placed his friends and depen- 
dents in many of the principal oflfices 
throughout the Empire. At first prejudiced 
against foreigners, he had gradually brought 
himself to recognize that some advantage 
might be derived from their knowledge. 

But the change came at too late a period 
to admit of his conferring any distinct benefit 
on his country from the more liberal policy 
he felt disposed to pursue with regard to the 
training of Chinese youths in the science and 
learning of the West. It was said that had 
he been personally ambitious he might have 
succeeded in displacing the Tartar regime. 
But such a thought never assumed any prac- 
tical shape in his mind, and to the end of his 
days Tseng Kwofan was satisfied to remain 
the steadfast supporter and adherent of the 
Manchus. In this respect he has been 
closely imitated by his most distinguished 



lieutenant, Li Hung Chang, who succeeded 
to some of his dignities and much of his 
power. 

Another of Tseng's proteges, Tso Tsung 
Tang, had been raised from the Vice-royalty 
of Chekiang and Fuhkien to that of Shensi 
and Kansuh. The promotion was of the 
more doubtful value, seeing that both those 
provinces were in the actual possession of 
the rebels ; but Tso threw himself into the 
task of reconquering them with remarkable 
energy, and within two years of his arrival 
he was able to report that he had cleared the 
province of Shensi of all insurgents. He 
then devoted his attention to the pacification 
of Kansuh ; and after many desultory engage- 
ments proceeded to lay siege to the town 
of Souchow, where the Mahomedans had 
massed their strength. 

A Signal Victory. 

At the end of the year 1872 the Imperial 
army was drawn up in front of this place, but 
Tso does not seem to have considered him- 
self strong enough to deliver an attack, and 
confined his operations to preventing the in- 
troduction of supplies and fresh troops into 
the town. Even in this he was only partially 
successful, as a considerable body of men 
made their way in in January, 1873. In the 
following month he succeeded in capturing, 
by a night attack, a temple outside the walls, 
upon which the Mahomedans placed con- 
siderable value. The siege continued during 
the whole summer, and it was not until the 
month of October that the garrison was 
reduced to such extremities as to surrender. 
The chiefs were hacked to pieces, and about 
four thousand men perished by the sword. 
The women, children, and old men were 
spared, and the spoil of the place was handed 
over to the soldiery. 

It was Tso's distinctive merit that, far 



142 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



from being carried away by these successes, 
he neglected no military precaution, and 
devoted his main efforts to the reorganiza- 
tion of the province. In that operation he 
may be left employed for the brief remainder 
of Tungche's reign ; but it may be said that 
in 1874 the campaign against Kashgariahad 
been fully decided upon. A thousand Man- 
chu cavalry were sent to Souchow. Sheep- 



Chinese predominance, at the same time 
their insular position has left them safe from 
the attack of the Pekin government. The 
attempt made by the Mongol, Kublai Khan, 
to subdue these islanders had been too disas- 
trous to invite repetition. In Corea the pre- 
tensions of the ruler of Yeddo had been 
repelled, if not crushed; but wherever the 
sea intervened the advantage rested more or 




'<-<'W/^ 



CHINESE COBBLERS. 



skins, horses, and ammunition in large 
quantities were also despatched to the far 
west, and General Kinshun, the Manchu 
general, was entrusted with the command of 
the army in the field. 

The year 1874 witnessed an event that 
claims notice. There never has been much 
good-will between China and her neighbors 
in Japan. The latter are too independent in 
their bearing to please the advocates of 



less decisively with him. The island of For- 
mosa is dependent upon China, and the 
western districts are governed by officials 
duly appointed by the Viceroy of Fuhkien. 
But the eastern half of the island, separated 
from the cultivated districts by a range of 
mountains covered with dense if not impene- 
trable forests, is held by tribes v/ho own no 
one's authority, and who act as they deem fit. 
In the year 1868 or 1869 a junk from 



PRINCE KUNG AND THE REGENCY. 



143 



Loochoo was wrecked on this coast, and the 
crew were murdered by the islanders. The 
civil war in Japan prevented any prompt 
claim for reparation, but in 1873 ^^^ affair 
was revived, and a demand made at Pekin 
for compensation. The demand was refused, 
whereupon the Japanese, taking the law into 
their own hands, sent an expedition to For- 
mosa. China replied with a counter-demon- 
stration, and war seemed inevitable. In this 
crisis Mr. Wade offered his good services in 
the interests of peace, and after considerable 
controversy he succeeded in bringing the two 
governments to reason, and in inducing them 
to agree to as equitable terms as could be 
obtained without having recourse to arms. 
The Chinese paid an indemnity and the 
Japanese evacuated the island. 

Fortunes of Prince Kung. 

In all countries governed by an absolute 
sovereign it is as interesting as it is difficult 
to obtain some accurate knowledge of the 
character of the autocrat. A most important 
change had been effected in the government 
of China, yet it is impossible to discover what 
its precise significance was, or to say how far 
it influenced the fortunes of the country. 
The Empresses had retired into private life, 
and for a time their Regency came to an end. 
Prince Kung was only the minister of a young 
prince who had it in his power to guide affairs 
exactly as he might feel personally disposed. 

Prince Kung might be either the real gov- 
ernor of the state or only the courtier of his 
nephew. It depended solely on that prince's 
character. There were not wanting signs 
that Tungche had the consciousness, if not 
the capacity of supreme power and that he 
wished his will to be paramount. Such 
evidence as was obtainable agreed in stating 
that he was impatient of restraint, and that 
the prudent reflections of his uncle were not 



over much to his fancy. On the loth of 
September the young ruler took the world 
into his confidence by announcing in a Ver- 
milion Edict that he had degraded Prince 
Kung and his son in their hereditary rank as 
princes of the Empire for using " language 
in very many respects unbecoming." 

Whether Tungche took this very decided 
step in a moment of pique or because he 
perceived that there was a plan among his 
chief relatives to keep him in leading-strings, 
must remain a matter of opinion. At the 
least he must have refused to personally 
retract what he had done, for on the very fol- 
lowing day (September 1 1 th) a Decree 
appeared from the Two Empresses rein- 
stating Prince Kung and his son in their 
hereditary rank and dignity, and thus re- 
asserting the power of the ex-Regents over 
the sovereign. 

Startling Rumors. 

Not long after this disturbance in the 
interior of the palace, of which only the 
ripple reached the surface of publicity, there 
were rumors that the Emperor's health was 
in a precarious state, and in the month of 
December it became known that Tungche 
was seriously ill unth an attack of small-pox. 
The disease seemed to be making satisfactory 
progress, for the doctors were rewarded ; 
but on the i8th of December an edict 
appeared ordering or requesting the Em- 
presses Dowager to assume the personal 
charge of the administration. Six days later 
another edict appeared which strengthened 
the impression that the Emperor was making 
good progress towards recovery. But ap- 
pearances were deceptive, for, after several 
weeks' uncertaint>-, it became known that the 
Emperor's death was inevitable. On the 
I2th of January, 1875, Tungche "ascended 
upon the Dragon, to be a guest on high," 



144 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



without leaving any offspring to succeed him. 
There were rumors that his illness was 
only a plausible excuse and that he was 
really the victim of foul play ; but it is not 
likely that the truth on that point will ever 
be revealed. Whether he was the victim of 
an intrigue similar to that which had marked 
his accession to power, or whether he only 
died from the neglect or incompetence of his 
medical attendants, the consequences were 
equally favorable to the personal views of 
the two Empresses and Prince Kung. They 
resumed the exercise of that supreme author- 
ity which they had resigned little more than 
twelve months before. The most suspicious 
circumstance in connection with this event 
was the treatment of the young Empress 
Ahluta, who, it was well known, was preg- 
nant at the time of her husband's death. 

The Queen's Mysterious Death. 

Instead of waiting to decide as to the suc- 
cession until it was known whether Tungche's 
posthumous child would prove to be a son 
or a daughter, the Empress Dowager hast- 
ened to make another selection and to place 
the young widow of the deceased sovereign 
in a state of honorable confinement. Their 
motive was plain. Had Ahluta's child hap- 
pened to be a son, he would have been the 
legal Emperor, as well as the heir by direct 
descent, and she herself could not have been 
excluded from a prominent share in the gov- 
ernment. To the Empress Dowagers one 
child on the throne mattered no more than 
another ; but it was a question of the first 
importance that Ahluta should be set on one 
side. In such an atmosphere there is often 
grievous peril to the lives of inconvenient 
personages. 

Ahluta sickened and died. Her child was 



never born. The charitable gave her credit 
for having refused food through grief for 
her husband, Tungche. The skeptical list- 
ened to the details of her illness with scorn 
for the vain efforts to obscure the dark deeds 
of ambition. In their extreme anxiety to 
realize their own designs and at the same 
time not to injure the constitution, the two 
Empresses had been obliged to resort to a 
plan that could only have been suggested by 
desperation. For the first time since the 
Manchu dynasty occupied the throne, it was 
necessary to depart from the due line of suc- 
cession, and to make the election of the 
sovereign a matter of individual fancy or 
favor instead of one of inheritance. 

Choice of a New Emperor. 
The range of choice was limited ; for the 
son of Prince Kung himself, who seemed to 
enjoy the prior right to the throne, was a 
young man of sufficient age to govern for 
himself; and, moreover, his promotion 
would mean the compulsory retirement from 
public life of Prince Kung, for it was not 
possible in China for a father to serve under 
his son, until Prince Chun, the father of the 
present reigning Emperor, established quite 
recently a precedent to the contrary. The 
name of Prince Kung's son, if mentioned at 
all, was only mentioned to be dismissed. The 
choice of the Empresses fell upon Tsai Tien, 
the son of Prince Chun or the Seventh 
Prince, who on the 1 3th of January was 
proclaimed Emperor. As he was of too 
tender an age to rule for himself, his nom- 
ination served the purposes of the two Em- 
presses and their ally Prince Kung, who 
thus entered upon a second lease of undis- 
puted power. They ruled in reality, the boy 
Emperor only in name. 



CHAFn:"KR VII. 
THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR KWANGSU. 



THUS after a very brief interval the 
governing power again passed into 
the hands of the Regents who had 
ruled the state so well for the 
twelve years following the death of Hien- 
fung. The nominal Emperor was a child of 
little more than three years of age, to whom 
was given the style of " Kwangsu," or " il- 
lustrious succession," and the Empresses 
could look forward to many years of author- 
ity in the name of so young a sovereign. 
The only opposition to their return to power 
seems to have come from the Palace 
eunuchs, who had asserted themselves dur- 
ing the brief reign of Tungche and hoped to 
gain predominance in the Imperial councils. 
But they found a determined mistress in the 
person of Tse An, the Eastern Empress, as 
she was also called, who took vigorous 
action against them, punishing their leaders 
with death and effectually nipping in the bud 
all their projects for making themselves su- 
preme. 

The return of the Empresses to power 
was followed by a great catastrophe in the 
relations between England and China. For 
the moment it threw every other matter into 
the shade, and seemed to render the out- 
break of war between the two countries 
almost inevitable. In the year 1874 the 
government of India, repenting of its brief 
infatuation for the Panthay cause, yet still 
reluctant to lose the advantages it had prom- 
ised itself from the opening of Yunnan to 
trade, resolved upon sending a formal mis- 
sion of exploration under Colonel Horace 
10 



Browne, an officer of distinction, through 
Burmah to that province. 

The difficulties in the way of the under- 
taking seemed comparatively few, as the 
King of Burmah was friendly and appeared 
disposed at that time to accept his natural 
position as the dependent of Calcutta. The 
Pekin authorities also were outwardly not 
opposed to the journey ; and the only oppo- 
sition to be apprehended was from the Yun- 
nan officials and people. 

Long Journey Across China. 

It was thought desirable, with the view of 
preparing the way for the appearance of this 
foreign mission, that a representative of the " 
English embassy at Pekin, having a knowl- 
edge of the language and of the ceremonial 
etiquette of the country, should be deputed 
to proceed across China and meet Colonel 
Browne on the Burmese frontier. The officer 
selected for this delicate and difficult mission 
was Mr. Raymond Augustus Margary, who 
to the singular aptitude he had displayed in 
the study of Chinese added a buoyant spirit 
and a vigorous frame that peculiarly fitted 
him for the long and lonely journey he had 
undertaken across China. His reception 
throughout was encouraging. Mr. Margary 
performed his journey in safety; and, on the 
26th of January, 1875, only one fortnight 
after Kwangsu's accession, he joined Colonel 
Browne at Bhamo. A delay of more than 
three weeks ensued at Bhamo, which was 
certainly unfortunate. Time was given for 
the circulation of rumors as to the approach 

145 



146 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



of a foreign invader along a disturbed fron- 
tier held by tribes almost independent, and 
whose predatory instincts were excited by 
the prospect of rich plunder at the same 
time that their leaders urged them to oppose 
a change which threatened to destroy their 
hold on the caravan route between Bhamo 
and Talifoo. 

When on the 17th of February Colonel 
Browne and his companions approached the 
limits of Burmese territory, they found them- 
selves in face of a totally different state of 
affairs from what had existed when Mr. Mar- 
gary passed safely through three weeks 
before. The preparation for opposing the 
English had been made under the direct en- 
couragement, and probably the personal 
direction, of Lisitai, a man who had been a 
brigand and then a rebel, but who at this 
time held a military command on the fron- 
tier. 

Last News Received. 

As Colonel Browne advanced he was met 
with rumors of the opposition that awaited 
him. At first these were discredited, but on 
the renewed statements that a large Chinese 
force had been collected to bar his way, Mr. 
Margary rode forward to ascertain what truth 
there was in these rumors. The first town 
on this route within the Chinese border is 
Momein, which, under the name of Tengyue, 
was once a military station of importance, 
and some distance east of it again is another 
town, called Manwein. Mr. Margary set 
out on the 19th of February, and it was 
arranged that only in the event of his find- 
ing everything satisfactory at Momein was 
he to proceed to Manwein ; and on the first 
suspicious occurrence he was to retreat at 
once to the main body. 

Mr. Margary reached Momein in safety, 
and reported in a letter to Colonel Browne 



that all was quiet at that place, and that 
there were no signs of any resistance. That 
letter was the last news ever received from 
Mr. Margary. On the 19th of February he 
started from Momein, and the information 
subsequently obtained left no doubt that he 
was treacherously murdered on that or the 
following day at Manwein. An ominous 
silence followed, and Colonel Browne's party 
delayed its advance until some definite news 
should arrive as to what had occurred in 
front, although the silence was sufficient to 
justify the worst apprehensions. 

A Brave Little Band. 

Three days later the rumor spread that 
Mr. Margary and his attendants had been 
murdered. It was also stated that an army 
was advancing to attack the English expedi- 
tion; and on the 22nd of February a large 
Chinese force did make its appearance on the 
neighboring heights. There was no longer 
any room to doubt that the worst had hap- 
pened, and it only remained to secure the 
safety of the expedition. 

These Chinese numbered several thousand 
men under Lisitai in person, while to oppose 
them there were only four Europeans and 
fifteen Sikhs. Yet superior weapons and 
steadfastness carried the day against greater 
numbers. The Sikhs fought as they retired, 
and the Chinese, unable to make any im- 
pression on them, abandoned an attack 
which was both perilous and useless. 

The news of this outrage did not reach 
Pekin until a month later, when Mr. Wade 
at once took the most energertic measures to 
obtain the amplest reparation in the power of 
the Pekin government to concede. The first 
and most necessary point in order to ensure 
not merely the punishment of the guilty, but 
also that the people of China should not 
have cause to suppose that their rulers 



THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR KWANGSU. 



147 



secretly sympathized with the authors of the 
attack, was that no punitive measures should 
be undertaken, or, if undertaken, recognized, 
until a special Commission of Inquiry had 
been appointed to investigate the circum- 
stances on the spot. Mr. Margary was an 
officer of the English government traveling 
under special permission and protection. 

Mysterious Delay. 

The Chinese government could not expect 
to receive consideration if it failed to enforce 
respect for its own commands, and the 
English government had an obligation which 
it could not shirk in exacting reparation for 
the murder of its representative. The 
treacherous killing of Mr. Margary was evi- 
dently not an occurrence for which it could 
be considered a sufficient atonement that 
some miserable criminals under sentence of 
death, or some desperate individuals anxious 
to secure the worldly prosperity of their 
families, should undergo painful torture and 
public execution in order to shield official 
falseness and infamy. Although no one 
ever suspected the Pekin government of 
having directly instigated the outrage, the 
delay in instituting an impartial and search- 
ing inquiry into the affair strengthened an 
impression that it felt reluctant to inflict pun- 
ishment on those who had committed the 
act of violence. 

Nearly three months elapsed before any 
step was taken towards appointing a Chinese 
official to proceed to the scene of the out- 
rage in company with the officers named by 
the English minister; but on the 19th of 
June an edict appeared in the Pekm Gazette 
ordering Li Han Chang, Governor-General 
of Houkwang, to temporarily vacate his 
post, and " repair with all speed to Yunnan 
to investigate and deal with certain matters." 
Even then the matter dragged along but 



slowly. It was not till the end of the year 
that the Commission to ascertain the fate of 
Mr. Margary began its active work on the 
spot. 

The result was unexpectedly disappoint- 
ing. The mandarins supported one another. 
The responsibility was thrown on several 
minor officials, and on the border-tribes or 
sa\ages. Several of the latter were seized, 
and their lives were offered as atonement fbr 
an offence they had not committed. The 
furthest act of concession which the Chinese 
Commissioner gave was to temporarily sus- 
pend Tsen Yuhing the Futai for remissness ; 
but even this measure was never enforced 
with rigor. The English officers soon found 
that it was impossible to obtain any proper 
reparation on the spot. 

Strong Demand for Reparation. 

Sir Thomas Wade, who was knighted 
during the negotiations, refused to accept 
the lives of the men offered, whose compli- 
city in the offence was known to be none at 
all, while its real instigators escaped without 
any punishment. When the new year, 1876, 
opened, the question was still unsettled, and 
it was clear that no solution could be dis- 
covered on the spot. Sir Thomas Wade 
again called upon the Chinese in the most 
emphatic language allowed by diplomacy to 
conform with the spirit and letter of their en- 
gagements, and he informed the government 
that unless they proffered full redress for 
Mr. Margary's murder it would be impossi- 
ble to continue diplomatic relations. To 
show that this was no meaningless expres- 
sion. Sir Thomas Wade left Pekin, while a 
strong reinforcement to the English fleet 
demonstrated that the government was re- 
solved to support its representative. 

In consequence of these steps, Li Hung 
Chang was, in August, 1876, or more than 



148 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



eighteen months after the outrage, entrusted 
with full powers for the arrangement of the 
difficulty; and the small seaport of Chefoo 
was fixed upon as the scene for the forth- 
coming negotiations. Even then the Chinese 
sought to secure a sentimental advantage by 
requesting that Sir Thomas Wade would 
change the scene of discussion to Tientsin, 
or at least that he would consent to pay Li 
Hung Chang a visit there. This final effort 



Ambassador, whose dispatch had been de- 
cided upon in the previous year. When the 
secret history of this transaction is revealed 
it will be seen how sincere were Li Hung 
Chang's wishes for a pacific result, and how 
much his advice contributed to this end. 

The most important passage in the Chefoo 
Convention was unquestionably that com- 
manding the different viceroys and gov- 
ernors to respect, and afford every protec- 




CHINESE RESTAURANT. 



to conceal the fact that the English demanded 
redress as an equal and not as a suppliant 
having been baffled, there was no further 
attempt at delay. 

The Chefoo Convention was signed in that 
town, to which the Viceroy proceeded from 
Tientsin. Li Hung Chang entertained the 
Foreign Ministers at a great banquet ; and 
the final arrangements were hurried forward 
for the departure to Europe of the Chinese 



tion to, all foreigners provided with the 
necessary passport, and warning them that 
they would be held responsible in the event 
of any such travellers meeting with injury 
or maltreatment. The next most important 
passage was that arranging for the despatch 
of an Embassy to London bearing a letter of 
regret for the murder of the English official. 
The official selected for this duty was Kwo 
Sungtao, a mandarin of high rank and unex- 



THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR KWANGSU. 



149 



ceptionable character. It was a delicate 
mission with which he was entrusted. 

The letter was submitted to Sir Thomas 
Wade in order that its terms should be 
exactly in accordance with Chinese etiquette, 
and that no phrase should be used showing 
that the Chinese government attached less 
importance to the mission than the occasion 
demanded. The Embassy proceeded to 
Europe, and, whatever may be thought of 
its immediate effect, it must be allowed that 
it established a precedent of friendly inter- 
course with that country, which proved an 
additional guarantee of peace. 

A curious incident arising from the pas- 
sion of gambling which is so prevalent in 
China, and bearing incidentally upon the 
national character, may be briefly referred 
to. The attention of the Pekin government- 
was attracted to this subject by a novel form 
of gambling, which not merely attained enor- 
mous dimensions, but which threatened to 
bring the system of public examination into 
disrepute. This latter fact created a pro- 
found impression at Pekin, and roused the 
mandarins to take unusually prompt meas- 
ures. 

Lottery on a Large Scale. 
Canton was the headquarters of the gam- 
bling confederacy v/hich established the lot- 
teries known as the Weising, but its ramifica- 
tions extended throughout the whole of the 
province of Kwantung. The Weising, or 
examination sweepstakes, were based on the 
principle of drawing the names of the suc- 
cessful candidates at the official examinations. 
They appealed, therefore, to every poor vil- 
lager, and every father of a family, as well as 
to the aspirants themselves. The subscribers 
to the Weising lists were numbered by hun- 
dreds of thousands. It became a matter of 
almost as much importance to draw a suc- 



cessful number or name in the lottery as to 
take the degree. The practice could not 
have been allowed to go on without intro- 
ducing serious abuses into the system of 
public examination. 

The profits of the owners of the lottery 
were so enormous that they were able to pay 
not less than eight hundred thousand dollars 
as hush-money to the Viceroy and the other 
high officials of Canton. In order to shield 
his own participation in the profits, the Vice- 
roy declared that he devoted this new source 
of revenue to the completion of the river de- 
fences of Canton. 

Severe Penalties Threatened. 

In 1874 the whole system was declared 
illegal, and severe penalties were passed 
against those aiding, or participating in any 
way in, the Weising Company. The local 
officers did not, however, enforce with any 
stringency these new laws, and the Weising 
fraternity enjoyed a further but brief period 
of increased activity under a different name. 
The fraud was soon detected, and in an Edict 
of August II, 1875, it was very rightly laid 
down that " the maintenance of the purity of 
government demands that it be not allowed 
under any pretext to be re-established," and 
for their apathy in the matter the Viceroy 
Yinghan and several of the highest officials 
in Canton were disgraced and stripped of 
their official rank. 

In China natural calamities on a colossal 
scale have often aggravated political troubles. 
The year 1876 witnessed the commencement 
of a drouth in the two great provinces of 
Honan and Shansi which has probably never 
been surpassed as the cause of a vast amount 
of human suffering. Although the provinces 
named suffered the most from the prevalent 
drought, the suffering was general over the 
whole of Northern China, from Shantung 



150 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



and Pechihli to Honan and the course of the 
Yellow River. 

At first the government, if not apathetic, 
was disposed to say that the evil would be 
met by the grant of the usual allowance 
made by the Provincial Governors in the 
event of distress ; but when one province 
after another was absorbed within the famine 
era, it became no longer possible to treat the 
matter as one of such limited importance, and 
the high ministers felt obliged to bestir them- 
selves in face of so grave a danger. Li Hung 
Chang in particular was most energetic, not 
merely in collecting and forwarding supplies 
of rice and grain, but also in inviting con- 
tributions of money from all those parts of 
the Empire which had not been affected by 
famine. 

Efforts to Relieve the Famine. 

Allowing for the general sluggishness of 
popular opinion in China, and for the absence 
of any large amount of currency, it must be 
allowed that these appeals met with a large 
and liberal response. The foreign residents 
also contributed their share, and even the 
charity of London found a vent in sending 
some thousands of pounds to the scene of the 
famine in Northern China. This evidence of 
foreign sympathy in the cause of a common 
humanity made more than a passing impres- 
sion on the minds of the Chinese people. 

While the origin of the famine may be 
attributed to either drought or civil war, 
there is no doubt that its extension and the 
apparent inability of the authorities to grapple 
with it may be traced to the want of means 
of communication, which rendered it almost 
impossible to convey the needful succor into 
the famine districts. The evil being so ob- 
vious, it was hoped that the Chinese would 
be disposed to take a step forward on their 
own initiative in the great and needed work 



of the introduction of railways and other 
mechanical appliances. The Viceroy of the 
Two Kiang gave his assent to the construc- 
tion of a short line between Shanghai and 
the port of Woosung. 

The great difficulty had always been to 
make a start; and now that a satisfactory 
commencement had been made the foreigners 
were disposed in their eagerness to overlook 
all obstacles, and to imagine the Flowery 
Land traversed in all directions by railways. 
But these expectations were soon shown to 
be premature. Half of the railway was open 
for use in the summer of 1876, and during 
some weeks the excitement among the Chi- 
nese themselves was as marked as among 
the Europeans. The hopes based upon this 
satisfactory event were destined to be soon 
dispelled by the animosity of the officials. 
They announced their intention to resort to 
every means in their power to prevent the 
completion of the undertaking. The situa- 
tion revealed such dangers of mob violence 
that Sir Thomas Wade felt compelled to 
request the Company to discontinue its 
operations, and after some discussion it was 
arranged that the Chinese should buy the 
line. 

Opposition to the Railway. 

After a stipulated period the line was 
placed under Chinese management, when, 
instead of devoting themselves to the interests 
of the railway, and to the extension of its 
power of utility, they wifully and persistently 
neglected it, with the express design of de- 
stroying it. At this conjuncture the Viceroy 
allowed the Governor of Fuhkien to remove 
the rails and plant to Formosa. The fate of 
the Woosung railway destroyed the hopes 
created by its construction, and postponed 
to a later day the great event of the introduc- 
tion of railways into China. Notwithstand- 



THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR KVVANGSU. 



151 



ing such disappointments as this, and the 
ever present difficulty of conducting relations 
with an unsympathetic people controlled by 
suspicious officials, there was yet observable 
c\ marked improvement in the relations of the 
different nations with the Chinese. 

Opening New Ports- 
Increased facihties of trade, such as the 
opening of new ports, far from extending the 
area of danger, served to promote a mutual 
good-will. In 1876 Kiungchow, in the 
island of Hainan, was made a treaty port, or 
rather the fact of its having been included in 
the treaty of Tientsin was practically 
accepted and recognized. In the following 
year four new ports were added to the list. 
One, Pakhoi, was intended to increase trade 
intercourse with Southern China. Two of 
the three others, Ichang and Wuhu, were 
selected as being favorably situated for com- 
merce on the Yangtse and its affluents, while 
Wenchow was chosen for the benefit of the 
trade on the coast. 

The close of the great work successfully 
accomplished during the two periods of the 
Regency was followed within a few weeks 
by the disappearance of the most important 
of the personages w ho had carried on the 
government throughout these twenty years 
of constant war and diplomatic excitement. 
Before the Pekin world knew of her illness, 
it heard of the death of the Empress 
Dowager Tsi An, who as Hienfung's princi- 
pal widow had enjoyed the premier place in 
the government, although she had never 
possessed a son to occupy the throne in 
person. In a proclamation issued in her 
name and possibly at her request, Tsi An 
described the course of her malady, the soli- 
citude of the Emperor, and urged upon him 
the duty of his high place to put restraint 
upon his grief. Her death occurred on 1 8th 



April, from heart disease when she was only 
forty -five, and her subsequent obsequies were 
as splendid as her services demanded. For 
herself she had always been a woman of 
frugal habits, and the successful course of 
recent Chinese history was largely due to 
her firmness and resolution. Her associate 
in the Regency, Tsi Thsi, who was always 
more or less of an invalid, survived her. 

The difficulty with Russia had not long 
been composed, when, on two opposite sides 
of her extensive dominion, China was called 
upon to face a serious condition of affairs. 
In Corea, "the forbidden land" of the Far 
East, events were forced by the eagerness 
and competition of European states to con- 
clude treaties of commeace with that primi- 
tive kingdom, and perhaps also by their fear 
that if they delayed Russia would appropriate 
some port on the Corean coast. 

Corea a Source of Trouble. 

To all w^ho had official knowledge of 
Russia's desire and plan for seizing Port 
Lazareff", this apprehension was far from 
chimerical, and there was reason to believe 
that Russia's enroachment might compel 
other countries to make annexations in or 
round Corea by way of precaution. Practi- 
cal evidence of this was furnished by the 
English occupation of Port Hamilton, and 
by its subsequent evacuation when the neces- 
sity passed away, but should the occasion 
again arise the key of the situation will 
probably be found in the possession not of 
Port Hamilton or Quelpart, but of the Island 
of Tsiusima. Recourse was had to dip- 
lomacy to avert what threatened to be a 
grave international danger ; and although the 
result was long doubtful, and the situation 
sometimes full of peril, a gratifying success 
was achieved in the end. 

In 1 88 1 a draft commercial treaty was 



152 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



drawn up, approved by the Chinese author- 
ites and the representatives of the principal 
powers at Pekin, and carried to the Court of 
Seoul for acceptance and signature by the 
American naval officer, Commodore Schu- 
feldt. The Corean king made no objection 
to the arrangement, and it was signed with 
the express stipulation that the ratifications 
of the treaty were to be exchanged in the 
following year. Thus was it harmoniously 



aroused the jealousy of Japan, which has 
long asserted the right to have an equal 
voice with China in the control of Corean 
affairs ; and the government of Tokio, on 
hearing of the Schufeldt treaty, at once took 
steps not merely to obtain all the rights to 
be conferred by that document, to which no 
one would have objected, but also to assert 
its claim to control equally with China the 
policy of the Corean Court. With that ob- 




CHINESE OUT 

arranged at Pekin that Corea was to issue 
from her hermit's cell, and open her ports 
to trading countries under the guidance and 
encouragement of China. There can be no 
doubt that if this arrangement had been 
carried out, the influence and the position of 
China in Corea would have been very 
greatly increased and strengthened. 

But, unfortunately, the policy of Li Hung 
Chung — for, if he did not originate, he took 
the most important part in directing it — 



FOR AN AIRING. 

ject, a Japanese fleet and army were sent to 
the Seoul river, and when the diplomatists 
returned for the ratification of the treaty, 
they found the Japanese in a strong position 
close to the Corean capital. 

The Chinese were not to be set on one 
side in so open a manner, and a powerful 
fleet of gunboats, with 5,000 troops, sent to 
the Seoul river to uphold their rights. Under 
other circumstances, more especially as the 
Chinese expedition was believed to be the 



THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR KWANGSU. 



153 



superior, a hostile collision must have en- 
sued, and the war which has so often seemed 
near between the Chinese and Japanese 
would have become an accomplished fact; 
but fortunately the presence of the foreign 
diplomatists moderated the ardor of both 
sides, and a rupture was averted. By a 
stroke of judgment the Chinese seized Tai 
Wang Kun, the father of the young king, 
and the leader of the anti-foreign party, and 
carried him off to Pekin, where he was kept 
in imprisonment for some time, until matters 
had settled down in his own countr>-. 

Rivalry Between China and Japan. 

The opening of Corea to the Treaty 
Powers did not put an end to the old rivalry 
of China and Japan in that country', of which 
history contains so many examples ; and the 
attack on the Japanese Legion in 1884 was 
a striking revelation of popular antipathy or 
of an elaborate anti-Japanese plot headed by 
the released Chinese prisoner, Tai Wang 
Kun. 

At the opposite point of the frontier China 
was brought face to face with a danger 
which threatened to develop into a peril of 
tlie first magnitude, and in meeting which 
she was undoubtedly hampered by her 
treaties with the general body of foreign 
Powers and her own peculiar place in the 
family of nations. It is the special misfor- 
tune of China that she cannot engage in 
any, even a defensive, war with a maritime 
power without incurring the grave risk, or, 
indeed, the practical certainty that, if such a 
war be continued for any length of time, she 
must find herself involved with every other 
foreign country through the impossibility of 
confining the hostilit>' of her own subjects to 
one race of foreigners in particular. 

In considering the last war with a Euro- 
pean country in which China was engaged, 



due allowance must be made for these facts, 
and also for the anomalous character of that 
contest when active hostiUties were carried 
on without any formal declaration of war — a 
state of things which gave the French many 
advantages. Towards the end of the year 
1882, the French Government came to the 
decision to establish a "definite protectorate" 
over Tonquin. Events had for some time 
been shaping themselves in this direction, and 
the colonial ambition of France had long 
fixed on l,ndo-China as a field in which it 
might aggrandize itself with comparatively 
Httle risk and a \vide margin of advantage. 
The weakness of the kingdom of Annam 
was a strong enough temptation in itself to 
assert the protectorate over it which France 
had, more or less, claimed for forty years; 
but when the reports of several French ex- 
plorers came to promote the conviction that 
France might acquire the control of a con- 
venient and, perhaps, the best route into 
some of the richest provinces of interior 
China without much difficulty, the tempta- 
tion became irresistible. 

France is Qxiick to Act, 
French activity in Indo-China was height- 
ened by the declaration of Garnier, Rocher 
and others that the Songcoi, or Red River, 
furnished the best means of communicating 
with Yunnan, and tapping the wealth of the 
richest mineral province in China. The 
apathy of England in her relations with 
Burmah, which presented, under its arrogant 
and obstructive rulers, what may have 
seemed an insuperable obstacle to trade in- 
tercourse between India and China, afforded 
additional inducement to the French to act 
quickly ; and, as they felt confident of their 
ability and power to coerce the Court of 
Hue, the initial difficulties of their undertak- 
ing did not seem very formidable. 



154 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



That undertaking was, in the first place, 
defined to be a protectorate of China, and, 
as the first step in the enterprise, the town of 
Hanoi, in the delta of the Red River, and 
the nominal capital of Tonquin, was cap- 
tured before the end of the year 1882. 

Tonquin stood in very much the same re- 
lationship to China as Corea ; and, although 
the enforcement of the suzerain tie was lax, 
there was no doubt that at Pekin the opin- 
ion was held very strongly that the action of 
France was an encroachment on the rights 
of China. But, if such was the secret opin- 
ion of the Chinese authorities, they took no 
immediate steps to arrest the development of 
French policy in Tonquin by proclaiming it 
a Chinese dependency, and also their inten- 
tion to defend it. While Li Hung Chang 
and the other members of the Chinese Gov- 
ernment were deliberating as to the course 
they should pursue, the French were acting 
with great vigor in Tonquin, and committing 
their military reputation to a task from 
which they could not in honor draw back. 

Movements of the "Black Flags." 
During the whole of the year 1883 they 
were engaged in military operations with the 
Black Flag irregulars, a force half piratical 
and half patriotic, who represented the 
national army of the country. It was be- 
lieved at the time, but quite erreoneously, 
that the Black Flags were paid and incited 
by the Chinese. Subsequent evidence showed 
that the Chinese authorities did not take 
even an indirect part in the contest until a 
much later period. After the capture of 
Hanoi, the French were constantly engaged 
with the Black Flags, from whom they cap- 
tured the important town of Sontay, which 
was reported to be held by Imperial Chinese 
troops, but on its capture this statement was 
found to be untrue. 



The French were in the full belief that the 
conquest of Tonquin would be easily effected, 
when a serious reverse obliged them to realize 
the gravity of their task, A considerable 
detachment, under the command of Captain 
Henri Riviere, who was one of the pioneers 
of French enterprise on the Songcoi, was 
surprised and defeated near Hanoi. Riviere 
was killed, and it became necessary to make 
a great effort to recover the ground that had 
been lost. Fresh troops were sent from 
Europe, but before they arrived the French 
received another check at Phukai, which the 
Black Flags claimed as a victory because the 
French were obliged to retreat. 

Extreme Measures by the French. 

Before this happened the French had taken? 
exteme measures against the King of Annam, 
of which state Tonquin is the northern pro- 
vince. The King of that country, by name 
Tuduc, who had become submissive to the 
French, died in July, 1883, and after his 
death the Annamese, perhaps encouraged by 
the difficulties of the French in Tonquin, 
became so hostile that it was determined 
to read them a severe lesson. Hue was at- 
tacked and occupied a month after the death 
of Tuduc, and a treaty was extracted from 
the new king which made him the depend- 
ent of France. When the cold season began 
in Tonquin, the French forces largely in- 
creased, and, commanded by Admiral Cour- 
bet, renewed operations, and on the iith of 
December attacked the main body of the 
Black Flags at Sontay, which they had 
reoccupied and strengthened. 

They offered a desperate and well sustained 
resistance, and it was only with heavy loss 
that the French succeeded in carrying the 
town. The victors were somewhat recom- 
pensed for their hardships and loss by the 
magnitude of the spoil, which included a 



THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR KWANGSU. 



155 



large sum of money. Desultory fighting 
continued without intermission ; Admiral 
Courbet was superseded by General Millot, 
who determined to signalize his assumption 
of the command by attacking Bacninh, which 
the Black Flags made their headquarters 
after the loss of Sontay. On the 8th of 
March, he attacked this place at the head 
of 1 2,000 men, but so formidable were its 
defences that he would not risk an attack 
in front, and by a circuitous march of four 
days he gained the flank of the position, and 
thus taken at a disadvantage, the Black 
Flags abandoned their formidable lines, and 
retreated without much loss, leaving their 
artillery, including some Krupp guns, in the 
hands of the victors. 

A Treaty of Peace. 
At this stage of the question diplomacy 
intervened, and on the i ith of May a treaty 
of peace was signed by Commander Fournier, 
during the ministry of M. Jules Ferry, with 
the Chinese government. One of the prin- 
cipal stipulations of this treaty was that the 
French should be allowed to occupy Lang- 
son and other places in Tonquin. When the 
French commander in Tonquin sent a force 
under Colonel Dugenne to occupy Langson 
it was opposed in the Bade defile and 
repulsed with some loss. The Chinese ex- 
onerated themselves from all responsibility 
by declaring that the French advance was 
premature, because no date was fixed by the 
Fournier convention, and because there had 
not been time to transmit the necessary 
orders. 

On the other hand, M. Fournier declared 
on his honor that the dates in his draft were 
named in the original convention. The 
French government at once demanded an 
apology, and an indemnity fixed by M. Jules 
Ferry, in a moment of mental excitement, at 



the ridiculous figure of 550,000,000. An 
apology was offered, but such an indemnity 
was refused, and eventually France obtained 
one of only ^800,000. 

After the Bade affair hostilities were at 
once resumed, and for the first time the 
French carried them on not only against 
the Black Flags, but against the Chinese. 
M. Jules Ferry did not, however, make any 
formal declaration of war against China, and 
he thus gained an advantage of position for 
his attack on the Chinese which it was not 
creditable to French chivalry to have asserted. 
The most striking instance of this occured at 
Foochow, where the French fleet, as repre- 
senting a friendly power, was at anchor above 
the formidable defences of the Min river. In 
accordance with instructions telegraphed to 
him, the French admiral attacked those 
places in reverse and destroyed the forts on 
the Min without much difficulty or loss, 
thanks exclusively to his having been allowed 
past them as a friend. 

Upholding the Laws of Neutrality. 
The French also endeavored to deriv^e all 
possible advantage from there being no for- 
mal declaration of war, and to make use of 
Hongkong as a base for their fleet against 
China. But this unfairness could not be 
tolerated, and the British minister at Pekin, 
where Sir Harrj'- Parkes had in the autumn 
of 1883 succeeded Sir Thomas Wade, issued 
a proclamation that the hostilities betsveen 
France and China were tantamount to a state 
of war, and that the laws of neutrality must 
be strictly observed. The French resented 
this step, and showed some inclination to 
retaliate by instituting a right to search for 
rice, but fortunately this pretension was not 
pushed to extremities, and the war was 
closed before it could produce any serious 
consequences. 



156 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



The French devoted much of their atten- 
tion to an attack on the Chinese possessions 
in Formosa, and the occupation of Kelung ; 
a fort in the northern part of that island was 
captured, but the subsequent success of the 
French was small. The Chinese displayed 
great energy and resource in forming de- 
fences against any advance inland from 
Kelung or Tamsui, and the French govern- 



may be gathered from the fact that the com- 
pulsory retreat, in March, 1885, of the French 
from before Langson, where some of the 
Chinese regular troops were drawn up with 
a large force of Black and Yellow Flags — 
the latter of whom were in Chinese pay — did 
not imperil the negotiations which were then 
far advanced towards completion. On the 
9th of June of the same year a treaty of 




VIEW OF TIENTSIN, CHINA. 



ment was brought to face the fact that there 
was nothing to be gained by carrying on 
these desultory operations, and that unless 
they were prepared to send a large expedi- 
tion, it was computed of not less than 50,000 
men, to attack Pekin, there was no alternative 
to coming to terms with China. 

How strong this conviction had become 



peace was signed by M. Patenotre and Li 
Hung Chang which gave France nothing 
more than the Fournier convention. 

The military lessons of this war must be 
pronounced inconclusive, for the new forces 
which China had organized since the Pekin 
campaign were never fully engaged, and the 
struggle ended before the regular regiment 



THE REIGN OF THE £MPER0R KWANGSU. 



157 



sent to Langson had any opportunity of 
showing their quality. But the impression 
conveyed by the fighting in Formosa and 
the northern districts of Tonquin was that 
China had made considerable progress in the 
military art, and that she possessed the 
nucleus of an army that might become for- 
midable. But while the soldiers had made 
no inconsiderable improvement, as much 
could not be said of the officers, and among 
the commanders there seemed no grasp of 
the situation, and a complete inability to con- 
duct a campaign. 

Incapable Commanders. 

Probably these deficiencies will long remain 
the really weak spot in the Chinese war 
organization, and although they have men 
who will fight well, the only capacity their 
commanders showed in Tonquin and For- 
mosa was in selecting strong positions and 
in fortifying them with consummate art. 
But as the strongest position can be turned 
and avoided, and as the Chinese, like all 
Asiatics, become demoralized when their 
rear is threatened, it cannot be denied that, 
considerable progress as the Chinese have 
made in the military art, they have not yet 
mastered some of its rudiments. All that can 
be said is that the war between France and 
China was calculated to teach the advisability 
of caution in fixing a quarrel upon China. 
Under some special difficulties from the char- 
acter of the war and with divided councils at 
Pekin, the Chinese still gave a very good 
account of themselves against one of the 
greatest Powers of Europe. 

During the progress of this struggle a 
coup de'tat was effected at Pekin of which at 
the time it was impossible to measure the 
whole significance. In July, 1884, the 
Chinese world was startled by the sudden 
fall and disgrace of Prince Xung, who had 



been the most powerful man in China since 
the Treaty of Pekin. A decree of the 
Empress Regent appeared dismissing him 
from all his posts and consigning him to an 
obscurity from which after many years he 
had not succeeded in emerging. The causes 
of his fall are not clear, but they were pro- 
bably of several distinct kinds. While he 
was tho leader of the peace party and the 
advocate of a prompt arrangement with 
France, he was also an opponent of Prince 
Chun's desire to have a share in the practical 
administration of the state, or, at least, an 
obstacle in the way of its realization. 

Prince Chun, who was a man of an 
imperious will, and who, on the death of the 
Eastern Empress, became the most important 
personage in the palace and supreme Council 
of the Empire, was undoubtedly the leader 
of the attack on Prince Kung, and the 
immediate cause of his downfall. Prince 
Kung, who was an amiable and well inten- 
tion ed man rather than an able statesman, 
yielded without resistance, and indeed he 
had no alternative, for he had no following 
at Pekin, and his influence was very slight 
except among Europeans. 

Sudden Death of Prince Chun. 
Prince Chun then came to the front, tak- 
ing an active and prominent part in the 
government, making himself President of a 
new Board of National Defence and taking 
up the command of the Pekin Field Force, a 
specially trained body of troops for the 
defence of the capital. He retained posses- 
sion of these posts after his son assumed the 
government in person, notwithstanding the 
law forbidding a father serving under his 
son, which has already been cited, and he 
remained the real controller of Chinese 
policy until his sudden and unexpected death 
in the first days of 189 1. 



158 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Some months earlier in April, 1890, China 
had suffered a great loss in the Marquis 
Tseng, whose diplomatic experience and 
knowledge'of Europe might have rendered 
his country infinite service in the future. 
He was the chosen colleague of Prince 
Chun, and he is said to have gained the ear 
of his young sovereign. While willing to 
admit the superiority of European inventions, 
he was also an implicit believer in China's 
destiny and in her firmly holding her place 
among the greatest Powers of the world. 
In December, 1890, also died Tseng Kwo 
Tsiuen, uncle of the Marquis, and a man 
who had taken a prominent and honorable 
part in the suppression of the Taeping 
rebellion. 

Tax on Opium. 

In 1885 an important and delicate negotia- 
tion between England and China was 
brought to a successful issue by the joint 
efforts of Lord Salisbury and the Marquis 
Tseng. The levy of the lekin or barrier tax 
on opium had led to many exactions in the 
interior which was injurious to the foreign 
trade and also to the Chinese government, 
which obtained only the customs duty raised 
in the port. After the subject had been 
thoroughly discussed in all its bearings a 
convention was signed in London, on 19th 
July, 1885, by which the lekin was fixed at 
eighty taels a chest, in addition to the cus- 
toms due of thirty taels, and also that the 
whole of this sum should be paid in the 
treaty port before the opium was taken out 
of bond. 

This arrangement was greatly to the 
advantage of the Chinese government, which 
came into possession of a large revenue that 
had previously been frittered away in the 
provinces, and much of which had gone into 
the pockets of the Mandarins. The Emperor 



issued an edict in 1890 formally legalizing 
the cultivation of opium, which, although 
practically carried on, was nominally illegal. 
An immediate consequence of this step was 
a great increase in the area under cultivation, 
particularly in Manchuria, and so great is the 
production of native opium now becoming 
that that of India may yet be driven from the 
field as a practical revenge for the loss 
inflicted on China by the competition of 
Indian tea. But at all events these measures 
debar China from ever again posing as an 
injured party in the matter of the opium 
trafiBc. 

During these years the young Emperor 
Kwangsu was growing up. In February, 
1887, in which month falls the Chinese New 
Year, it was announced his marriage was 
postponed in consequence of his delicate 
health, and it was not until the new year of 
1889, when Kwangsu was well advanced in 
his eighteenth year, that he was married to 
Yeh-ho-na-la, daughter of a Manchu general 
named Knei Hsiang, who had been specially 
selected for this great honor out of many 
hundred candidates. 

Magnificent Marriage Ceremonies. 

The marriage was celebrated with the 
usual state, and more than ^5,000,000 is 
said to have been expended on the attendant 
ceremonies. At the same time the Empress 
Regent issued her farewell edict and passed 
into retirement, but there is reason to believe 
that she continued to exercise no inconsider- 
able influence over the young Emperor. 

The marriage and assumption of govern- 
ing power by the Emperor Kwangsu brought 
to the front the very important question of 
the right of audience by the foreign ministers 
resident at Pekin. This privilege had been 
conceded by China at the time of the Tient- 
sin massacre, and it had been put into force 




159 



160 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



on one occasion during the brief reign of 
Tungche. The time had again arrived for 
giving it effect, and, after long discussions as 
to the place of audience and the forms to be 
observed, Kwangsu issued in December, 
1890, an edict appointing a day soon after 
the commencement of the Chinese New Year, 
for the audience, and also arranging that it 
should be repeated annually on the same 
date. 

In March, 1891, Kwangsu gave his first 



ians' made on him the idea which they 
carried away of the Emperor Kwangsu was 
pleasing and almost pathetic. His air is one 
of exceeding intelligence and gentleness, 
somewhat frightened and melancholy look- 
ing. His face is pale, and though it is dis- 
tinguished by refinement and quiet dignity it 
has none of the force of his martial ancestors, 
nothing commanding or imperial, but is alto- 
gether mild, delicate, sad and kind. 

" He is essentially Manchu in features, his 




OPIUM SMOKERS. 



reception to the foreign ministers, but after 
it was over some criticism and dissatisfaction 
were aroused by the fact that the ceremony 
had been held in the Tse Kung Ko, or Hall 
of Tributary Nations. As this was the first 
occasion on which Europeans saw the young 
Emperor, the fact that he made a favorable 
impression on them is not without interest, 
and the following personal description of the 
master of so many millions may well be 
quoted : 

"Whatever the impression 'the Barbar- 



skin is strangely pallid in hue, which is, no 
doubt, accounted for by the confinement of 
his life inside these forbidding walls and the 
absence of the ordinary pleasures and pur- 
suits of youth, with the constant discharge 
of onerous, complicated and difficult duties 
of state which, it must be remembered, are, 
according to Imperial Chinese etiquette, 
mostly transacted between the hours of two 
and six in the morning. His face is oval 
shaped with a very long narrow chin and a 
sensitive mouth with thin nervous lips ; his 



THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR KWANGSU. 



161 



nose is well shaped and straight, his eye- 
brows regular and very arched, while the 
eyes are unusally large and sorrowful in ex- 
pression. The forehead is well shaped and 
broad, and the head is large beyond the 
average." 

Owing to the dissatisfaction felt at the 
place of audience, which seemed to put the 
Treaty Powers on the same footing as tribu- 
tary states, the foreign ministers have en- 
deavored to force from the government the 
formal admission that a more appropriate 
part of the Imperial city should be assigned 
for the ceremony, but as the Powers them- 
selves were not disposed to lay too much 
stress on this point, no definite concession 
was yet made, and the Chinese ministers 
held out against the pressure of some of the 
foreign representatives. But, although no 
concise alteration was made in the place of 
audience, the question was practically settled 
by a courteous concession to the new English 
minister, Mr. O'Conor, who succeeded Sir 
John Walsham, and it is gratifying to feel 
that this advantage was gained more by tact 
than by coercion. 

When Mr. O'Conor wished to present his 
credentials to the Emperor, it was arranged 
that the Emperor should receive him in the 
Cheng Kuan Tien Palace, which is part of 
the Imperial residence of Peace and Plenty 
within the Forbidden City. The British 
representative, accompanied by his secre- 
taries and suite in accordance with arrange- 
ment, proceeded to this palace on the 1 3th 



of December, 1892, and was received in a 
specially honorable way at the principal or 
Imperial entrance by the officials of the 
Court. Such "a mark of distinction was con- 
sidered quite unique in the annals of foreign 
diplomacy in China, and has since been a 
standing grievance with the other ministers 
at Pekin. 

It was noticed by those present that the 
Emperor took a much greater interest in the 
ceremony than on previous occasions. This 
audience, which lasted a considerable time, 
was certainly the most satisfactory and en- 
couraging yet held with the Emperor 
Kwangsu by any foreign envoy, and it also 
afforded opportunity of confirming the favor- 
able impression which the intelligence and 
dignified demeanor of the Emperor Kwangsu 
made on all who have had the honor of 
coming into his presence. One incident in 
the progress of the audience question de- 
serves notice, and that was the Emperor's 
refusal, in 1891, to receive Mr. Blair, the 
United States Minister, in consequence of 
the hostile legislation of our country against 
China. The anti-foreign outbreak along the 
Yangtsekiang, in the summer of 1891, was 
an unpleasant incident, from which at one 
time it looked as if serious consequences 
might follow ; but the ebullition fortunately 
passed away without an international crisis, 
and it may be hoped that the improved 
means of exercising diplomatic pressure at 
Pekin will render these attacks less frequent, 
and their settlement and redress more rapid. 



11 



CHAPTKR VIII. 
THE EMPEROR OF CHINA AND HIS COURT. 



THE foregoing concise and graphic 
history from the able pen of the 
well-known historian, Mr. D. C. 
Boulger, may appropriately be fol- 
lowed by Mr. Robert K. Douglas's interest- 
ing and entertaining account of the manners 
and customs of the Chinese. This enables 
the reader to see China as it has been in the 
past and as it is at the present time. He is 
now conducted from one point of observation 
to another, while before him are pictured the 
customs, the domestic life, the manners, dress, 
idol-worship and singular ideas and habits of 
this remarkable people. 

With the exception of fashions in trivial 
matters, nothing has changed in China for 
many centuries. Every institution, every 
custom, and every idea has its foundation in 
the distant ages and draws its inspiration from 
the sages of antiquity. Immutability in all 
that is essential is written on the face of the 
empire. No fear of organic change perplexes 
monarchs, or anyone else, in that changeless 
land, and the people love to have it so. 
Sovereigns reign and pass away, dynasties 
come and go, and even foreign powers take 
possession of the throne, as at the present 
time, when a line of Manchu emperors reigns 
at Pekin ; but the national life in all its char- 
acteristics goes on unmoved by political 
change and revolutionary violence. 

One of the most remarkable spectacles in 
the world's history is that of this .strange 
empire which, having been time after time 
thrown into the crucible of political unrest, 
has always reappeared identical in its main 
162 



features and institutions, and absorbing rather 
than being absorbed by the foreign elements 
which have occasionally thrust themselves 
into the body politic. 

The political constitution, the social rela- 
tions and customary ceremonies were crys- 
tallized in their present forms by those 
ancients on whom, according to the opinion 
of the people, rested the mantle of perfect 
wisdom. If the death of the emperor is an- 
nounced, it is proclaimed in words used by 
Yao, who lived before the time of Abraham. 

Fondness for Antiquity. 

If a mandarin writes a controversial de- 
spatch, he bases his arguments on the sayings 
of Confucius ; if a youth presents himself at 
the public examinations, he is expected to 
compose essays exclusively on themes from 
the four books and five classics of antiquity; 
and if a man writes to congratulate a friend 
on the birth of a daughter, he does so in 
phraseology drawn from the national primi- 
tive odes, which were sung and chanted be- 
fore the days of Homer. ' 

This immutability gives certain advantages 
in writing on Chinese society, since the author 
is not called upon 

' ' To shoot folly as it flies 
And catch the manners living as they rise. ' ' 

It is enough for him to keep in view the 
rock from which the people have hewn their 
lives, and to draw from the current literature, 
which reflects that foundation, the picture 
which he may propose to sketch. 

What, then, are the constituent elements 



THE EMPEROR AND HIS COURT. 



163 



of Chinese society ? They are very simple, 
and are free from the complications and 
enlacements of European life. At the head 
is the emperor and his court, next comes the 
bureaucracy, and after them the people. With 
the exception of some few families, such as 
those of Confucius, of Tseng, and five or six 
others, there is no hereditary aristocracy of 
high rank and importance. All are equal 
until the examiners have elected into an aris- 
tocracy of talent those whose essays and 
poems are the best. The remaining divisions 
of "farmers, mechanics, and traders," repre- 
sent one level. 

High-Sounding Titles. 
Above these classes the Emperor reigns 
supreme. The possessor of a power which 
is limited only by the endurance of the people, 
the object of profound reverence and worship 
by his subjects, the holder of the lives of "all 
under heaven," the fountain of honor as well 
as the dispenser of mercy, he occupies a 
position which is unique of its kind, and 
unmatched in the extent of its influence. 
There is much magic in a name, and the 
titles by which the potentate is known help 
us to realize what he is in the eyes of the 
people. 

He is the "Son of Heaven," he is the 
■"Supreme Ruler," the "August Lofty One," 
the "Celestial Ruler," the "Solitary Man," 
the "Buddha of the present day," the 
"Lord;" and, in adulatory addresses, he is 
often entitled the " Lord of Ten Thousand 
Years." As the Son of Heaven, he rules 
by the express command of the celestial 
powers, and is sustained on the throne by 
the same supreme authorities, so long as he 
rules in accordance with their dictates. He 
alone is entitled to worship the azure heaven, 
and at the winter solstice he performs this 
rite after careful preparation, and with solemn 



ritual, a description of which cannot fail to 
be of interest to the reader. 

The Temple of Heaven, where this august 
ceremony is performed, stands in the southern 
portion of the city of Pekin, and consists of a 
triple circular terrace, two hundred and ten 
feet wide at the base, and ninety feet at the 
top. The marble stones forming the pave- 
ment of the highest terrace are laid in nine 
concentric circles. On the centre stone, 
which is a perfect circle, the Emperor kneels, 
facing the north, and "acknowledges in 
prayer and by his position that he is inferior 
to Heaven, and to Heaven alone. Round 
him on the pavement are the nine circles of as 
many heavens, consisting of nine stones, then 
eighteen, then twent>'-seven, and so on, in 
successive multiples of nine until the square 
of nine, the favorite number of Chinese phil- 
osophy, is reached in the outermost circle of 
eighty-one stones." 

The Burnt Sacrifice. 

On the evening before the winter solstice 
the Emperor is borne in a carriage drawn 
by elephants to the mystic precincts of the 
temple, w'hence, after offering incense to 
Shangti, "the Supreme Ruler," and to his 
ancestors, he proceeds to the hall of pene- 
tential fasting. There he remains until 5.45 
A.M., when, dressed in his sacrificial robes, 
he ascends to the second terrace. This is 
the signal for setting fire to the whole burnt 
sacrifice, which consists of a bullock two 
years old and without blemish. The Su- 
preme Ruler having been thus invoked, the 
Emperor goes up to the highest terrace, and 
offers incense before the sacred shrine, and 
that of his ancestors. 

At the same time, after having knelt 
thrice and prostrated himself nine times, he 
offers bundles of silk, jade cups, and other 
gifts in lowly sacrifice. A prayer is then 




164 



THE EMPEROR AND HIS COURT. 



165 



read by an attendant minister, while the 
Emperor kneels in adoration, to an accom- 
paniment of music and dancing. One solemn 
rite has still to be performed before the sacri- 
ficial service is complete. While the Em- 
peror remains on his knees, officers appointed 
for the purpose present to him " the flesh of 
happiness," and the "cup of happiness." 
Thrice he prostrates himself before the sacred 
emblems, and then receives them with solemn 
reverence. It is curious to find these marked 
resemblances to Jewish and Christian wor- 
ship in the Chinese ritual. 

Claims Divine Authority. 

By this solemn sacrifice the Emperor 
assumes the office of Vice-regent of Heaven, 
and by common consent is acknowledged to 
be the co-ordinate of Heaven and earth, and 
the representative of man in the trinity of 
which those two powers form the other per- 
sons. As possessor of the Divine authority, 
he holds himself superior to all who are 
called gods, and takes upon himself to grant 
titles of honor to deities, and to promote 
them in the sacred hierarchy. 

On one occasion a memorial was pre- 
sented to the throne by the Lieutenant- 
Governor of Kiangtsu, asking the Emperor 
to confer higher honors on the Queen of 
Heaven, the God of the Wind , the God of 
the Sea, and the God of the city of Shanghai, 
in consideration of their having brought the 
tribute rice safely on its way to Tientsin, and 
for having favored the vessels bearing it with 
gentle zephyrs and a placid sea. To this re- 
quest the Emperor was pleased to accede, 
and the gods and goddesses reaped the re- 
ward of his benignity by the issue of patents 
which were held to vouch for their promo- 
tion on the heights of Olympus. 

One other instance of this form of super- 
stition may be mentioned, which is remark- 



able as having for its advocate the redoubt- 
able Tseng Kwofan, the father of the Mar- 
quis Tseng, and the foremost man of the 
day in the empire. To him, more than to 
any other mandarin, is due the suppression 
of the Taeping rebellion. He was the inti- 
mate adviser of the throne, and was held in 
the highest esteem as a learned and enlight- 
ened man. 

This viceroy, in conjunction with the 
Viceroy of Fuhkien, "petitioned the throne 
to deify two female genii who had worked a 
great number of miracles for the good of 
the people." In the district of Chiangtu, 
write the viceroys, "there is a place called 
Hsien-nu-chen, which has long had a temple 
to the two genii, Tu and Kang. This temple 
was once upon a time the scene of a benefi- 
cent miracle, which is duly recorded in the 
history of the district. Moreover, in the 
eighth year of Hiengfung (1858), when the 
Taeping rebels were attempting to cross on 
rafts at Fuchiao, on the east side of Yang- 
chow, a frightful storm of thunder and rain 
burst over the place and drowned countless 
numbers of them. 

Lamps and Fairy Godesses. 
"The refugees from the city all stated 
that, on the night in question, when the 
rebels were attempting to cross, they saw the 
opposite bank lined, as far as the eye could 
reach, with bright azure-colored lamps, and 
in the midst of the lamps were seen the 
fairy goddesses. Scared by this apparition 
the rebels abandoned the attempt, and the 
town and neighborhood were saved from fall- 
ing into their hands." "Some time ago," the 
memorialists add, "Tseng Kwofan petitioned 
the throne to deify the two female genii, Tu 
and Kang ; but the Board of Rites replied 
that the local histories only mention Kang, 
and asked what authority' there was for 



166 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



ranking Tu among the genii. There appeared 
to be no doubt in respect to Kang. 

"The memoralists have, therefore, re-in- 
vestigated the whole case, and find that 
Kang was a priestess in Tu's temple, and 
that she ascended fi-om the town in question 
on a white dragon up to fairyland, and that 
in consequence of this the inhabitants placed 
her on a par with Tu and worshipped them 
together. The names of the fairies, Tu and 
Kang, are to be found in the official registers, 
and they have long been objects of worship. 
Such are the representations of the local 
gentry and elders, and the memoralists 
would earnestly repeat their request that 
his majesty would be graciously pleased to 
deify the two genii, Tu and Kang, in ac- 
knowledgment of the many deliverances 
they have wrought, and in compliance with 
the earnest wish of the people." 

In the pages of the Pekin Gazette, such 
memorials, presented by the highest officials 
in the empire, are constantly to be met with, 
and are treated with all seriousness both by 
the suppliants and the Son of Heaven. 

His Subjects Adore Him. 

In harmony with these lofty attributes his 
subjects, when admitted into his presence, 
prostrate themselves in adoration on the 
ground before him, and on a certain day in 
the year he is worshipped in every city in 
the empire. At daylight on the day in 
question the local mandarins assemble in 
the city temple, where, in the central hall, 
a throne is raised on which is placed the 
imperial tablet. At a given signal the as- 
sembled officials kneel thrice before the 
throne, and nine times strike their heads 
on the ground as though in the presence 
of the Supreme Ruler. 

In speaking of this title, the Supreme 
Ruler, it is interesting to go a step beyond 



the English rendering of the term, and to 
look at the native characters which repre- 
sent it. They form the word Hwangti, and 
are of considerable interest both as indicating 
the very lofty idea entertained by the inven- 
tors of the first character of what an emperor 
should be; and, in the case of the second, as 
confirming a theory which is now commonly 
accepted, that the Chinese borrowed a num- 
ber of their written symbols from the cunei- 
form writing of Babylonia. The character 
Hwang was formerly made up of two parts, 
meaning "ruler" and "one's self," and thus 
conveys the very laudable notion, in har- 
mony with the doctrines taught by Confu- 
cius, that an emperor, before attempting to 
rule the empire, should have learnt to be the 
master of his own actions. 

Supreme White Ruler. 

In the same spirit Mencius, about two 
hundred years later, said, " The greatest 
charge is the charge of one's self" An 
idea which appears in the mouth of Polonius, 
where he says — 

"This above all : to thine own self be true, 
And it must follow, as the night the day. 
Thou canst not then be false to any man." 

By a clerical error the character is now 
written with the omission of a stroke in the 
symbol for one's self, and, so altered, the 
compound reads, " the white ruler." The 
second character means "the supreme." 

The Emperor is also the Buddha of the 
present day. This is a title which has little 
meaning among the skeptical Chinese, who 
agree with Confucius in preferring to leave 
the question of a future existence unex- 
plored. But in the weary wastes of Mon- 
golia and Tibet, the ignorant natives give an 
interest to their dreary existences by blindly 
following the superstitious teaching of their 
priests. In Tibet, more especially, Budd- 



THE EMPEROR AND HIS COURT. 



167 



hism has gjiined complete possession of the 
people, and the priestly profession is crowded 
with men who seek for power, and who find 
it easier to make a living out of the supersti- 
tious fears of the people than from the barren 
soil at their feet. 

Not content with managing the spiritual 
concerns of their followers, these men have 
made themselves masters of the political 
situation, and in the hand of their chief, the 
Grand Lama, rests the government of the 
country. To these people the title of the 
" Buddha of the present day " is full of mean- 
ing, and a command from the potentate at 
Pekin is readily obeyed as coming from the 
suzerain of the land, and the spiritual head 
of their religion. The Grand Lama is sur- 
rounded by several dignitaries, and on the 
death of any one of these ecclesiastics the 
re-embodiment of his spiritual essence is re- 
ferred to Pekin, and is not considered valid 
until the sanction of the Emperor has been 
received. On occasions the Emperor actu- 
ally forbids the transmigration of the soul of 
any dignitary who may be under his ban, 
which thus remains in a state of suspended 
animation during his good pleasure. 

A Strange Decree. 

The Pekin Gazette tells us, that one such, 
a Hut'ukht'u, was once impeached for desert- 
ing his post, and carrying off his seal of 
office, in consequence of a disturbance which 
arose through a distribution of alms. For 
this dereliction of duty his title and seal were 
cancelled, and it was at the same time 
decreed by the Emperor that his soul should 
not be allowed to transmigrate at his 
decease. On receiving this extinguishing 
sentence the offender came to Pekin for the 
purpose of appealing, and soon afterwards 
his death produced the crisis in his spiritual 
State which the sentence contemplated. 



The sympathy produced by his condition 
prompted the despatch of petitions to Pekin 
to plead for his soul, and such success 
attended them that an edict was shortly 
afterwards issued in the following terms: 
" We decree that as is besought of us, search 
may be made to discover the child in whose 
body the soul of the decased Hut'ukht'u has 
been re-born, and that he be allowed to 
resume the government of his proper lama- 
sery, or dominion." 

Compelled to Fall on Their Faces. 

The title of "the solitary man" is emi- 
nently applicable to a potentate who thus not 
only claims temporal dominion, but who 
assumes the position of high priest over the 
household of the gods. It is a common 
complaint with emperors and kings that they 
have no fellows; but here is one of their 
number whose cherished attributes place him 
beyond the reach of mortals. With the 
exception of those immediately about his 
person, his subjects are not allowed to gaze 
upon his face. When he goes abroad the 
people are compelled to fall on their faces to 
the ground until his cavalcade has passed on, 
and on all occasions he is to them a mystery. 

A sovereign so exalted and so worshipped 
would naturally expect to receive from 
foreigners entering his presence, homage 
equal to that to which he is accustomed 
from the pliant knees of his subjects, and at 
first, no doubt, the refusul of British repre- 
sentatives to kotoii', or prostrate themselves 
before him, came as a surprise. From the 
time of Lord Macartney's mission, in 1792, 
down to a few years back, the question of 
the kotow was a burning one, and was as 
consistently resisted by foreign ministers as 
it was urgently pressed by the Chinese. At 
the present time, on two or three occasions 
on which the European ministers have been 



168 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



granted audiences, they have paid the 
Emperor the same reverence, and no more, 
that they pay to their own sovereigns. 



Gazette, and to the plays and novels of the 
people, for sketches of his monotonous and 
dreary existence. The palace, as befitting 




TYPES OF CHINESE WOMEN. 



Being so entirely withdrawn from the pub- 
lic gaze, very little can possibly be known of 
the Emperor's private life, and we are driven 
to that ver>' candid periodical, the Pekin 



the abode of so exalted a personage, is so 
placed as effectually to cut off its occupants 
from the rest of the empire. Situated in the 
" Forbidden City," it is surrounded with a 



THE EMPEROR AND HIS COURT. 



169 



triple barrier of walls. Beyond the inner and 
secret enclosure is the Imperial city, which is 
enclosed by a high wall topped with tiles of 
the Imperial yellow color ; and outside that 
again is the Tartar cit>', which forms the 
northern part of the capital. 

Strict guard is kept day and night at the 
^ates of the Forbidden City, and severe pen- 
alties are inflicted on all unauthorized persons 
who may dare to enter its portals. One of 
the highest distinctions which can be con- 
ferred on officials whom the Emperor delights 
to honor, is the right to ride on horseback 
within these sacred precincts. Only on rare 
occasions, and those almost exclusively occa- 
sions of ceremony, does the Emperor pass 
out of the palace grounds. These no doubt 
present a miniature of the empire. There 
are lakes, mountains, parks, and gardens in 
which the Imperial prisoner can amuse him- 
self, with the boats which ply on the artificial 
lakes, or by joining mimic hunts in miniature 
forests ; but it is probable that there is not 
one of the millions of China who has not a 
TTiore practical knowledge of the empire than 
he who rules it. 

Stirring Before Daylight. 

Theoretically he is supposed to spend his 
■days and nights in the affairs of state. The 
gates of the Forbidden City are opened at 
midnight, and the halls of audience at 2 a.m. 
Before daylight his cabinet ministers arrive 
and are received at veritable levees, and all 
the state sacrifices and functions are over by 
10 o'clock. Even the court amusements are 
held before the dew is off the grass. The 
following programme, taken from the Pt'kin 
•Gaseffe, describes a morning's work at Court : 

"To-morrow, after business, about 6 
o'clock A.M., the Emperor will pass through 
the Hwa-Yuen and Shinwu gates to the 
Takaotien temple to offer sacrifice. After- 



wards His Majesty will pass through the 
Yung-suy-tsiang gate, and, entering the 
King-shansi gate, will proceed to the Show- 
hv/ang temple to worship. His Majesty will 
then pass through the Pehshang gate from 
the Sishan road, and, entering the Shinwu 
gate, will return to the palace to breakfast. 
His Majesty will then hold an audience, and 
at 7 o'clock will ascend to the Kientsing 
Palace to receive congratulations on his 
birthday. At 8 o'clock he will take his seat 
to witness the theatrical performance." 

Putting On the Pxirple. 

And if wrestlers and conjurers are sum- 
moned into the Imperial presence, they must 
be ready at an equally uncongenial hour to 
show their skill. But such relaxations are 
the glints of sunlight which brighten the 
sombre life of the solitary man. The sov- 
ereign announced his assumption of the Im- 
perial purple in 1875, when he was quite an 
infant, in the following edict : 

" Whereas, on the fifth day of the moon " 
(January 12, 1875), "at the jyeo hour" (5—7 
P.M.), "His Majesty the Emperor departed 
this life, ascending upon the Dragon to be a 
guest on high, the benign mandate of the 
Empress Dowager and Empress Mother was 
by us reverently received, commanding us to 
enter upon the inheritance of the great suc- 
cession. Prostrate upon the earth we be- 
wailed our gnef to Heaven, vainly stretching 
out our hands in lamentation. For thirteen 
years, as we humbly reflected. His Majest}' 
now departed reigned under the canopy of 
Heaven. In reverent observance of the an- 
cestral precepts, he made the counsels 
prompted by maternal love his guide, apply- 
ing himself with awestruck zeal to the toil- 
some performance of his duty. The welfare 
of the people and the policy of the State 
were ever present in his utmost thoughts. 



170 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Not in words can we give expression to the 
sadness which pierces our heart and shows 
itself in tears and blood." 

The Pekin Gazette bears testimony to the 
desire which was felt by the Emperor's 
tutors to rear the tender thought aright. And 
in that journal the following memorial on this 
subject was published with approval. " His 
Majesty, being still of tender age, it is 
beyond question expedient that effectual 
training in the right path be studied. All 
those who surround His Majesty, and are in 
near employment about his person, should 
be without exception of tried capacity and 
soHd character. No youthful and thought- 
less person should be suffered to be in at- 
tendance." 

A Wife for the Emperor. 

From time to time the outer world was 
informed of the progress which this tenderly 
guarded youth was making in his studies. 
At last the time came — in 1889 — for him to 
assume the reins of power hitherto held by 
the dowager empresses, and to take to him- 
self a consort. The question of choosing a 
wife for the Imperial recluse was a more 
serious matter to arrange than the transfer of 
power. It was necessary that the lady 
should be of the same nationality as himself 
— a Manchu — and that she should satisfy the 
requirements of the Dowager Empresses as 
to looks and appearance. 

Levees of aspirants to the honor were held 
by the Dowagers, and a lady having been 
chosen, the personage most interested in the 
event was made aware of the selection. 
According to custom, and possibly to pro- 
vide against any disappointment which the 
appearance of the bride might produce in the 
imperial breast, two young ladies were also 
chosen to accompany the Empress as second- 
ary wives. This trio forms the nucleus of 



the royal household, in which secondary- 
wives are counted by tens and fifties. 

As is natural in the case of any matter 
affecting so exalted a personage as the Son 
of Heaven, the ceremonies connected with 
his marriage are marked by all the dignity 
and splendor which are peculiar to Oriental 
states. Unlike his subjects, even of the 
highest rank, who are bound as a preliminary 
to pay court to the parents of their future 
brides, the Emperor finds it sufficient to issue 
an edict announcing his intention to marry 
the lady on whom his choice may have 
fallen, and she, trembling with the weight 
of the honor, blushingly obeys the command. 
Unlike his subjects, also, the Emperor is by 
law entitled to wives of three ranks. 

The first consists of the Empress, who is 
alone in her dignity except when, as has 
happened, on some rare occassions, two 
Princesses have shared the imperial throne. 
The second rank is unlimited as to number ; 
and it is from these ladies that, in case of the 
death of the Empress, the Emperor com- 
monly chooses her successor. The third 
rank is filled up as the taste of the Emperor 
may direct, and it is rarely that the ladies of 
this grade ever succeed to the lofty dignity 
of the throne. 

Imposing Ceremonies. 
To the wedding of the Empress alone are 
reserved the courtly ceremonials which grace 
the imperial marriage. These ceremonies 
are ten in number. First comes an edict 
announcing the intended marriage. The 
Board of Ceremonies next proclaims the fact 
throughout the empire, and having consulted 
the Imperial astronomers as to the choice of 
a fortunate day for sending the customary 
presents to the bride-elect, prepares for the 
occasion ten horses with accoutrements, ten 
cuirasses, a hundred pieces of silk and two 







171 



172 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



hundred pieces of nanking. To the Board 
of Rites belongs the duty of preparing a 
golden tablet and a golden seal on which the 
scholars of the Hanlin College inscribe the 
necessary decrees relating to the marriage. 

Armed with these imperial pledges a 
President of the Board invites the imperial 
order for the presentation of the gifts. When 
this has been received, the officials, at early 
dawn on the day appointed, place a table in 
the hall of "Great Harmony" for the recep- 
tion of the imperial seal, while others set 
out a pavilion ornamented with dragons, in 
which the cuirasses, the silks and the cloths 
are reverently deposited. 

The Imperial Mandate. 
When the assembly is complete, the master 
of ceremonies orders every one to his al- 
lotted place, and exhorts all to assume a 
grave and decorous attitude. In the hear- 
ing of this attentive gathering a commis- 
sioner, after bowing the knee, reads aloud 
the Imperial mandate, which runs as follows : 
"The august ruler has, in accordance with 
the wishes of the revered Dowager Em- 
press, promised to take Miss of the 

as his consort, and orders the min- 



isters to take the seal of the empire with the 
nuptial presents, in accordance with the 
sacred rites," 

So soon as the herald has ceased speaking 
a Secretary of State takes the seal from the 
table and hands it to an Imperial messenger 
who, in company with officials carrying the 
pavilion and other gifts, and preceded and 
followed by the Imperial guards, goes to the 
house of the future Empress. Everything 
there has been prepared for his reception. 
A table has been placed in the centre of the 
hall between two others, draped with ap- 
propriate hangings. On the arrival of the 
messenger the father of the lady salutes him 



on the threshold, and kneels while he carries 
the Imperial gifts to the tables in the great 
hall. On the centre table the envoy places 
the Imperial seal, and on the others the vari- 
ous portable presents, while the horses are 
arranged on the right and left of the court- 
yard. 

When all are disposed in order, the father 
of the lady receives the gifts kneeling, and 
prostrates himself nine times as a token of 
his gratitude for the Imperial favor. The 
departure of the messenger, who carries the 
Imperial seal away with him, is surrounded 
with the same ceremonies as those which 
greeted his arrival. 

Two banquets form the second part of the 
ceremony. The mother of the bride is, by 
order of the Emperor, entertained by the 
Imperial princesses in the apartments of the 
Dowager Empress, while the Imperial cham- 
berlains and high officials offer the same 
hospitality to her father. 

The Nuptial Presents. 

On the wedding-day officers appointed for 
the purpose present to the bride two hun- 
dred ounces of gold, ten thousand ounces of 
silver, one gold and two silver tiaras, a thou- 
sand pieces of silk, twenty caparisoned 
horses, and twenty others with equipments. 
To her father and mother are, in like man- 
ner, offered gold, silver and precious orna- 
ments ; pieces of silk, bows and arrows, and 
countless robes. 

The declaration of the marriage follows. 
An ambassador is sent with an Imperial 
letter to the father of the future empress. 
On his knees, this much genuflecting man 
listens to the words of his future son-in-law, 
and makes nine prostrations in the direction 
of the Imperial seal, which again stands on 
his table. On this occasion his wife and two 
ladies of his household take part in the cere- 



THE EMPEROR AND HIS COURT. 



173 



mony. Six times they bow low, thrice they 
bend the knee, and twice as often they pros- 
trate themselves before the seal. This done, 
they receive from the envoy the tablet of 
gold, on which is inscribed the declaration 
of marriage, and retire with this evidence of 
the fulfilment of their hopes to the apartments 
of the bride. 

On the eve of the ev^entful day ministers 
are sent to announce the auspicious event to 
Heaven, and Earth, and to the deities of the 
Imperial temple. On the following morning, 
so soon as the august procession is formed, 
the Emperor enters his sedan-chair, and is 
borne to the Tzuning palace, where the 
dowager Empress awaits him seated on a 
throne of state. With dutiful regard he 
kneels, and thrice, and again nine times bows 
low at the feet of his mother. 

The Great Seal. 

Having thus manifested his respect, he 
proceeds to the " Hall of Great Harmony," 
accompanied by bands discoursing music 
from an infinite variety of instruments. 
There, at a signal given, the members of the 
Board of Rites kneel and prostrate them- 
selves before their august sovereign. This 
done, a herald advances and reads aloud the 
Imperial decree, which runs as follows: 
" The Emperor, in obedience to the desire of 
the Empress his mother, agrees that the 

princess shall be his consort. In this 

propitious month, and under this favorable 
constellation, he has prepared the customary 
gifts and the usual contract, and now com- 
mands his ministers to escort the chosen 
bride to his palace." 

In harmony with this last clause, the 
Imperial envoy, followed by chamberlains 
and oflScers of the guard, and accompanied 
with music, takes the great seal and starts 
on his mission. Following in his train come 



officers carrying the tablet and seal of gold, 
and bearers with the sedan-chair destined for 
the bride. In strange contrast to the ordi- 
nary state of the streets, the thoroughfares 
on this occasion are swept, garnished, and 
made straight. 

On arriving, over these unwontedly smooth 
ways, at the dwelling of the bride, the envoy 
is received with every mark of honor and 
reverence, not only by the father of the 
bride, but by the elder ladies of the house- 
hold, dressed in their most brilliant costumes. 
In the grand hall the father kneels before the 
envoy, who hands the seal to a lady in wait- 
ing, while his lieutenant delivers the tablet 
and the Imperial letter to the ladies appointed 
to receive them. As these things are borne 
to the private apartments of the bride, her 
mother and ladies kneel in token of rever- 
ence, and then, following in their wake, 
listen with devout respect to the terms of the 
letter addressed to the bride. 

The Bride Escorted to the Palace. 

When this ceremony is concluded, the 
bride, with her mother and ladies in attend- 
ance, advances to the "Phoenix Chair," in 
which, preceded by ministers bearing the 
Imperial seal, and followed by musicians and 
guards of honor, she proceeds to the palace. 
On arriving at the gate, the officers and 
attendants dismount from their horses, while 
porters bearing aloft nine umbrellas orna- 
mented with phoenixes lead the procession 
to the Kientsing gate. Beyond this the 
attendants and officials are forbidden to so, 
and the bride proceeds alone to meet her 
affianced husband. 

One more ceremony has to be performed 
to complete the marriage. A banquet is 
spread for the august pair, at which they 
pledge each other's troth in cups of wine, 
and thus tie the knot which death alone un- 



174 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT.' 



ravels. This, however, does not quite con- 
clude the laborious ceremonial which falls to 
the lot of the bride. On the morning after 
the wedding it becomes her duty to testify 
her respect to the dowager Empress by 
bringing her water in which to wash her 
hands, and by spreading viands before her, 
in return for which courtesies the dowager 
entertains her daughter-in-law at a feast of 
welcome. 

Meanwhile the Emperor receives the 




CHINESE MANDARIN. 

homage of the princes, dukes, and officers of 
state, and for some days the palace is given 
up to feasting and rejoicing — an echo of 
which reaches the remotest parts of the 
empire when the proclamation announcing 
the joyful event is made known in the pro- 
vinces. The long and formal ceremonies are 
now concluded and the Emperor is married. 
But the Imperial mentors not only teach 
the Emperor how to live, but they teach the 
"still harder lesson how to die." On the 
approaching death of the late Emperor, the 



following valedictory manifesto was put in 
his mouth : 

" It was owing to the exalted love of Our 
late Imperial father. Our canopy and support, 
that the Divine Vessel (that is, the throne) 
was bestowed upon Our keeping. Having 
set foot in Our childhood on the throne. We 
from that moment had, gazing upwards, to 
thank their two majesties the Empresses for 
that, in ordering as Regents the affairs of 
government, they devoted night and day to 
the laborious task. When, later, in obe- 
dience to their divine commands, We 
personally assumed the supreme power, 
We looked on high for guidance to the 
Ancestral precepts of the Sacred Ones 
before Us, and in devotion to Our govern- 
ment and love towards Our people, made 
the fear of Heaven and the example of 
Our Forefathers the mainspring of every 
act. 

" To be unwearied day by day has 
been Our single purpose. Our bodily 
constitution has through Our life been 
strong, and when, in the iith moon of 
this year. We were attacked by small- 
pox, We gave the utmost care to the 
preservation of Our health; but for some 
days past Our strength has gradually 
failed, until the hope of recovery has 
passed away. We recognize in this the 
will of Heaven." And then the dying man 
named his successor in the person of his first 
cousin. 

So soon as the august patient has ceased 
to breathe, his heir strips from his cap the 
ornaments which adorn it, and " wails and 
stamps " in evidence of his excessive grief. 
The widow and ladies of the harem in the 
same way discard the hair-pins and jewelry 
which it is ordinarily their delight to wear, 
and show their practical appreciation of the 
position by setting to work to make the 




175 



176 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



mourning clothes and habiliments. The 
coffin prepared for the remains having been 
carried into the principal hall of the palace, is 
inspected by the heir, and receives its august 
burden. By an ordinance, which is probably 
more honored in the breach than in the per- 
formance, the new Emperor and his courtiers 
sacrifice their queues as a token of their sor- 
row, and the ladies of the harem, not to be 
outdone, submit their flowing locks to the 
scissors of their attendants. 

Periods of Mourning. 

For three years, which by a fiction is 
reduced to twenty-seven months, the young 
Emperor mourns the decease of his prede- 
cessor. The exigencies of administration, 
however, make it necessary that he should 
confine the period of unrestrained grief to a 
hundred days ; while twenty-seven days are 
considered sufficient for the expression of the 
regrets of the concubines of the third rank. 
During the twenty-seven months members of 
the Imperial family are not supposed to 
marry or indulge in any of the pleasures of 
married Hfe. 

A curious punishment was inflicted on a 
late Emperor for an infraction of this last 
rule. Most inopportunely a son was born to 
him at a time which proved that, in accord- 
ance with Chinese notions, its existence must 
have begun during the mourning for the 
deceased Emperor. The question then arose 
how the august offender was to be dealt with. 
Banishment would have been the sentence 
naturally passed on any less exalted person- 
age, but as it was plainly impossible to send 
the Son of Heaven into exile, it was deter- 
mined to banish his portrait across the 
deserts of Mongolia into a far country. 

On a day of good omen the will of the 
deceased Emperor is carried, with much 
pomp and circumstance, to the gate of 



"Heavenly Rest." From the balcony above- 
this portal the contents of the document are 
announced to the assembled crowd. The 
terms of the testament having been commu- 
nicated to the people of the capital, it is 
printed in yellow, and distributed not only 
throughout the empire, but throughout every 
region which owes allegiance to the Son of 
Heaven — Corea, Mongolia, and Manchuria, 
and Liuchiu, and Annam. 

When the time named by the astrologers 
arrives for the removal of the coffin to the 
temporary palace on the hill within the Impe- 
rial enclosure, a procession, formed of all 
that is great and noble in the empire, accom- 
panies the Imperial remains to their appointed 
resting-place, where, with every token of re- 
spect, they are received by the Empress and 
the ladies of the harem. 

The Three Names. 

In a mat shed adjoining the temporary 
palace the Emperor takes up his abode for 
twenty-seven days. With unremitting atten- 
tion he presents fruits and viands to the de- 
ceased, accompanying them with sacrificial 
libations and prayers. The choice of a post- 
humous title next occupies the attention of 
the ministers, and from that moment the 
names which the late sovereign has borne in 
life disappear from Imperial cognizance. To 
every Emperor are given, during life, and at 
his death, three names. The first may be 
called his personal name ; the second is 
assigned him on coming to the throne, and 
resembles the titles given to the occupants of 
the papal chair; the third is the style chosen 
to commemorate his particular virtues or 
those which he is supposed to have pos- 
sessed. 

So soon as the posthumous title has been 
decided upon it is engraved upon a tablet and 
seal; and in order that the spiritual powers 



THE EMPEROR AND HIS COURT. 



177 



should be made acquainted with the style 
adopted, especially appointed ministers an- 
nounce the newly chosen epithet to Heaven, 
and Earth, and to the gods of the land and 
of grain. On the completion of these long- 
drawn-out ceremonies a day is chosen for 
the removal of the coffin to its tomb. In a 
wooded valley, forty or fifty miles west of 
Pekin, lie all that is mortal of the emperors 
of the present dynasty. Thither, by easy 
stages, the coffin, borne by countless bearers, 
is carried, over a road levelled and carefully 
prepared for the cortege. 

Funereal Pomp. 

As in duty bound, the Emperor accom- 
panies the coffin, but does not find it neces- 
sary to join in the actual procession. By 
pursuing devious ways he reaches the travel- 
ling palaces, at which the halts are made, in 
time to receive the coffin, and without having 
experienced the fatigue of the slow and drear\^ 
march. Finally, with many and minute cere- 
monies, among which occurs the presentation 
to the deceased of food, money, and clothes, 
the remains are laid to rest in the august 
company of Imperial shades. 

With much the same pomp and ceremonial 
a deceased Empress is buried in the sacred 
precincts, and the proclamation of her death 
is received in the provinces with much the 
same demonstrations of grief and sorrow as 
that which greets the announcement of the 
decease of a Son of Heaven. 

Some years ago, on the death of the Em- 
press Dowager, a curious proclamation, 
prescribing the rites to be performed on the 
occasion, was issued to the people of Canton. 
From this paper we learn that the notification 
of the death was received from the hands of 
the Imperial messenger by the assembled 
local officials, and was borne on the "dragon 
bier" to the Examination Hall. As the 
12 



procession moved along the officers fell on 
their knees and, looking upwards, raised a 
cry of lamentation. On reaching the pre- 
cincts of the hall the mandarins, from the 
highest to the lowest, thrice bowed low, and 
nine times struck their foreheads on the 
ground. So soon as the notification had 
been placed on the table prepared for it, the 
herald cried aloud, " Let all raise the cry of 
lamentation." 

Anon, the same officer proclaimed, "Pre- 
sent the notification," upon which the officer 
appointed for the purpose presented the 
paper to the governor-general and governor 
of the province, who received it on their 
knees and handed it to the provincial treas- 
urer, who, in like manner, passed it to the 
secretary charged with the duty of seeing 
that it was reverently copied and published 
abroad. At another word of command the 
mandarins retired to a public hall, where 
they passed the night abstaining from meat 
and from all carnal indulgence. 

Mourning in White Apparel. 

For three days similar ceremonies and 
lamentations were performed, and for nine 
times that period white apparel was donned 
by the mandarins, who had already dis- 
carded the tassels and buttons of their caps 
on the first arrival of the Imperial messenger. 
From the same date all official signatures 
were written with blue ink, and seals were 
impressed with the same color. No drums 
were beaten, no courts were held, and a blue 
valance was hung from the chair and table 
of all officers in lieu of the ordinary red one. 

On each of the first three days a state 
banquet was offered to the deceased, when, 
in the presence of the assembled mandarins, 
the herald cried aloud, " Serve tea to Her 
Majesty." Upon which attendants, preceded 
by the governor-general and governor, 



178 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



ascended the dais, and, kneeling, poured out 
a cup of tea, which they handed to the 
governor-general. With every token of res- 
pect this officer placed the cup before the 




STREET SCENE IN CANTON. 

tablet representing the late Empress. With 
the same ceremonies rice, water, and wine 
were offered to the spirit of the deceased 
Empress. Finally, at a word from the 
herald, the viands were committed to the 



flame, and with prostrations and bows the 
ceremony came to an end. 

Such is the side of the shield presented to 
us in the pages of the Pekin Gazette. It 
represents a cloistered vir- 
tue which, even if genuine, 
we should admire more if 
it sallied out to seek its ad- 
versaries. Probably, how- 
ever, a truer presentment 
of the inner life of the 
palace is to be found in the 
native novels and plays, 
where the natural effects 
of confining the Son of 
Heaven within the narrow 
limits of the Forbidden 
City, and of depriving him 
of all those healthy exer- 
cises which foster a sound 
mind in a sound body, are 
described as resulting from 
the system. It can only be 
men of the strongest will 
and keenest intellects, who 
would not rust under such 
conditions, and these quali- 
ties are possessed as rarely 
by Emperors as by ordi- 
nary persons. 

For the most part we see 
the Emperor portrayed as 
surrounded by sycophants 
and worse than sycophants, 
who fawn upon him and 
add flattery to adulation in 
their attempts to gain and 
to hold his favor. Ener- 
vated by luxury, he. in a vast majority of 
cases, falls a ready victim to these blandish- 
ments, and rapidly degenerates into a weak 
and flabby being. It is true that occa- 
sionally some hardy Son of Heaven enjoys 



THE EMPEROR AND HIS COURT. 



179 



a long reign, but the more common course 
of events is that a short and inglorious rule 
is brought to a premature close by the effects 
of debauchery and inanition. 

In so complicated an administrative ma- 
chine as that of China it is difficult to say 
what part the Emperor really takes in the 
government of the country. We know that 
some have been powerful for good and many 
more for evil. Over the Imperial princes and 
nobles the Emperor holds complete sway. 
He regulates their marriages, and in cases 
of failure of issue he chooses sons for their 
adoption. He appoints their retinues, and 
orders all their goings with curious minute- 
ness. Over them as over all his other sub- 
jects, his will is, theoretically, law. 

No Indian Rajah, no Shah of Persia, ever 
possessed more autocratic power. We have 
some knowledge of the debasing effect of 
eastern palace life from the histories of the 
better known countries of Asia, and we may 
safely draw the deduction that, since the 
same conditions produce the same effects, 
the records of the Forbidden City would, if 
written at length, reflect the normal condi- 
tion of society in the old palace of Delhi or 
that at Teheran. 

Re^varded for Bravery. 
As has already been said, the hereditary 
aristocrats of rank and importance form but ' 
a small and unimportant body, while the 
lower grades are well supplied with men who 
have earned distinction in the battle-field and 
in other arenas of honor. For example, the 
man who was first to mount the wall of 
Nanking when it was recaptured from the i 
rebels w^as rewarded by a title of the fourth 
rank. To all such distinguished persons 
annual allowances are made, and though in- 
dividually small in amount, the total sum 
becomes a serious burden on the provincial 



exchequers, when by Imperial favor the 
number of those holding patents of nobility 
is multiplied. On one occasion the governor 
of Kiangsi complained that he had to pro- 
vide 50,000 taels a year for the incomes of 
the four hundred and eighty -three hereditary- 
nobles residing within his jurisdiction. This 
number he considered to be quite large 
enough, and he begged his Imperial master 
to abstain from throwing any more nobles 
on the provincial funds. In Hunan the 
number, he alleged, was confined to four 
hundred, in Nanking to three hundred and 
forty-eight, in Soochow to a hundred and 
fifty, and in Anhui to a hundred and seventj'- 
six. Beyond these areas his investigations 
had not travelled. 

The Chinese Nobility. 

The hereditary nobility of China may be 
divided into the Imperial and National. Of 
the former there are twelve denominations 
which, with certain subdivisions, extend over 
eighteen classes of persons ennobled because 
of their descent. These are, of course, under 
the present dynasty, exclusively Manchus. 
The members of the National nobility ma\- 
be Manchus or Chinese elevated for their 
merits to one of nine degrees. The five su- 
perior of these, viz.: Kung, Hou, Pih, Tzu, 
Nan, the English in general describe by duke, 
marquis, earl, viscount, and baron ; the re- 
maining four, for convenience sake, they call 
orders of knighthood. 

The highest of these and the five above 
sepecified are each divided into first, second, 
and third classes, making in all twent}'-six 
degrees. Unless the title given be conferred 
in perpetuity it loses one degree of nobility 
with each step of descent. Thus the Kung, 
duke, of the first class will reach the lowest 
round in twentj'-six generations ; the first 
class Tzu, viscount, in fourteen. 



CHAF^TKR IX. 
THE PUNISHMENT OF CRIMINALS. 



IT has often been said that the laws of a 
nation furnish the best and truest 
description of the manners and cus- 
toms of the people. In all respects 
the Chinese Code is an exceptionally good 
instance of the truth of this maxim. Unlike 
many of the legal systems of the east and 
west, it avoids all useless redundancies, and 
represents in a concise form, the laws which 
are intended to govern the courts of justice. 
Further, following the bent of the national 
mind, it does not concern itself only with the 
duties of men as citizens, but follows them 
into their homes and provides legislation for 
their social conduct, their relations in the 
family, and even for the clothes which they 
should wear. 

Regarded as a whole it is obvious that its 
provisions are mainly directed to keeping the 
people quiet and loyal. The Emperor is 
surrounded with enactments which are in- 
tended to ensure that such divinity shall 
hedge him in " that treason can but peep to 
what it would," and every disturbing motive 
and exciting cause is studiously suppressed 
among his subjects. 

The code begins by enumerating the pun- 
ishments to be inflicted for offences, and 
defines them as (i) flogging with a straight 
polished piece of bamboo, the branches cut 
away and reduced to five Chinese feet five 
inches in length, varying in breadth from one 
to two inches, and in weight from one and a 
half to two Chinese pounds, and when used 
to be held by the smaller end ; (2) the canque, 
consisting of "a square frame of dry wood, 
180 



three feet long, two feet nine inches broad, 
and weighing in ordinary cases twenty-five 
pounds," which is carried on the shoulders; 
(3) the capital punishment, which is inflicted 
either by strangulation or by the execu- 
tioner's sword. 

Most punishments for the less serious 
crimes are redeemable by fines, and even 
capital sentences, in such cases as are not 
legally excluded from the benefits of general 
acts of grace and pardon, are commutable 
for sums of money varying in amount with 
the heinousness of the crime and with the 
wealth of the criminal. A man sentenced to 
a hundred blows with the bamboo can save 
his skin by the payment of five ounces of 
silver, and an officer above the fourth rank 
who is sentenced to be strangled may avoid 
the cord by paying twelve thousand ounces 
into the coffers of the state. 

Pardon Often Granted. 

But besides these pecuniary modifications, 
there are certain conditions which are held 
to justify the mitigation of sentences. In 
the case of an offender surrendering himself 
to justice, he shall, in some circumstances, 
be entitled to a reduction of two degrees 
of punishment, and in others he absolves 
himself from all consequences by giving 
himself up. If, again, "an offender' under 
sentence of death for an offence not excluded 
from the contingent benefit of an act of 
grace, shall have parents or grandparents 
who are sick, infirm or aged above seventy 
years, and who have no other son or grand- 



THE PUNISHMENT OF CRIMINALS. 



181 



son above the age of sixteen to support 
them, this circumstance shall be submitted 
to the consideration of His Imjjerial Ma- 
jesty." 

In any case offenders under fifteen years 
of age, or over seventy, are allowed to re- 
deem themselves from any punishment less 
than capital. Even when the crime is capital, 
if the offender is less than ten or more than 
eighty, his case, unless he be charged with 
treason, is to be recommended to the con- 
sideration of the Emperor; and no punish- 
ment, except for treason and rebellion, shall 
be visited on those who are less than seven 
or more than ninety. 

Flogging and Imprisonment. 

Especial regulations Ughten punishments 
to be inflicted on four classes of the popula- 
tion. Astronomers sentenced to banish- 
ment may submit to one hundred blows 
■with the bamboo instead, and redeem them- 
selves from further punishment, unless they 
have been guilty of "poisoning, murdering, 
wounding, robbing, stealing, killing by magic, 
or of any such offences as may subject the 
party to the punishment of being branded." 

Artificers and musicians who have incurred 
sentences of banishment may be flogged, 
and, instead of being sent to Central Asia, 
may be kept in the magistrate's yamun and 
employed in the service of government; 
while women who are sentenced to banish- 
ment can always redeem themselves by pay- 
ing a fine. 

In cases where women are convicted of 
offences punishable by flogging, it is pro- 
vided that they shall be allowed to wear 
their upper garment unless the crime should 
be adultery, w hen that privilege is withdrawn. 

Such are some of the main provisions 
which condition the laws laid down in the 
code. These apply with strange minuteness 



to all sorts and conditions of men, from the 
Emperor in his palace down to actors who 
are regarded as the meanest of his subjects. 
In every kingdom and Empire the life and 
repose of the sovereign is jealously guarded 
by all the precautions which the law can 
provide, and in eastern countries, where the 
dagger and poison are the constant terror 
of potentates, the preventive measures are 
always carefully devised. 

No doubt many of the observances prac- 
ticed at the Chinese Court, such, for instance, 
as standing with the hands joined as in sup- 
plication, and kneehng when addressing the 
sovereign, were instituted as safeguards from 
harbored weapons or from violence. In the 
code, pains and penalties of every intensit)^ 
are laid down as the portion of those who 
directly or indirectly raise any suspicion of 
evil design against the throne. 

Barbarous Punishments. 

Any one passing without proper authoriz- 
ation through any of the gates of the For- 
bidden City incurs a hundred blows of the 
bamboo. This law is invariably enforced, 
and quite lately the Pekin Gazette announced 
the infliction of the penalty on a trespasser, 
and the degradation of the officer of the 
guard at the gate through which he had en- 
tered. Death by strangulation is the punish- 
ment due to any stranger found in any of 
the Emperor's apartments ; and with that 
curious introspection which Chinese laws 
profess, any one passing the palace gate 
with the intention of going in, although he 
does not do so, is to have a definite number 
of blows with the bamboo. 

Every workman engaged within the 
palace has a pass given to him, on which 
is a detailed description of his figure and 
appearance, and which he is bound to give 
up to the officer of the identical gate 



182 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



through which he was admitted. To carry 
drugs or weapons into the Forbidden City is 
to court a flogging in addition to perpetual 
banishment, and any one " who shall shoot 
arrows or bullets, or fling bricks or stones 
towards the Imperial temple, or towards any 
Imperial palace, shall suffer death by being 
strangled at the usual period." 

No convicted person or relative of a con- 



thereon while the Emperor's retinue is pass- 
ing is to be strangled. If the Emperor ar- 
rives unexpectedly at a place, "it shall be 
sufficient for those who are unable to retire 
in time, to prostrate themselves humbly on 
the roadside." 

But there are other and more insidiou^; 
dangers than these to be guarded against. 
Doctors and cooks have it readily within 




CHINESE MODES OF TORTURE. 



victed person is to be employed about the 
Imperial city, and any one found disputing 
or quarrelling within the precincts of the 
palace is to be punished with fifty blows. If 
the quarrelling leads to a personal encounter 
the penalty is doubled. Even the roads 
along which the Emperor travels and the 
bridges which he crosses are not to be pro- 
faned by vulgar use, and any one intruding 



their power to do all the evil that the dagger 
or club can accomplish, and it is, therefore, 
enacted that if a physician inadvertenly 
mixes medicines for the Emperor in any 
manner that is not sanctioned by established 
practice, or if a cook unwittingly introduce.^- 
any prohibited ingredients into the dishes 
prepared for his Imperial master, they shall 
each receive a hundred blows. The same 



THE PUNISHMENT OF CRIMINALS. 



183 



punishment is due to the cook, if he puts 
any unusual drug into an article of food, 
and, in addition, he is compelled to swallow 
the compound. 

Marriage is regarded as an incentive to 
political peace and quiet. It is considered, 
and rightly considered, that a householder is 
less likely to disturb the peace of the realm 
than a waif and stray, and the Government 
therefore considers marriage a subject worthy 
of careful legislation. In Chinese parlance 
the State is the father and mother of the 
people, and it is part of its office to see that 
parents do not neglect their duty in this 
respect towards their offspring. 

Shall Receive Fifty Blows. 

When a marriage contract is in contem- 
plation it shall be made plain to both of the 
families interested that neither the bride nor 
bridegroom are " diseased, infirm, aged, or 
under age." If, no objection having been 
raised on any of these scores, the preliminary 
contract be made and the lady afterwards 
wish to decline to execute it, the person who 
had authority to give her away shall receive 
fifty blows, and the marriage shall be at once 
completed. If a son, when at a distance 
from his family, enters into a marriage con- 
tract in ignorance of an engagement which 
his father may have made on his behalf at 
home, he shall give up his own choice and 
shall fulfil the contract made for him by his 
parent. 

Bigamy is punished with ninety blows, 
and the same fate awaits any man who, dur- 
ing the lifetime of his wife, raises a concubine 
to the rank which she enjoys. The times and 
seasons proper for marriages are, in western 
lands, left to individual taste and judgment; 
but in China, where etiquette is a matter of 
State policy, it is necessary to lay down rules 
for the guidance of the people in such mat- 



ters. The same authorit)'^ which makes it 
incumbent on a son on the death of his 
father or mother to go unshaved for a hun- 
dred days, and if he is in office to retire into 
private life for twenty-seven months, forbids 
him to marry while in mourning for a parent, 
under a penalty of a hundred blows for dis- 
obedience. 

The same punishment is to be inflicted on 
any misguided widow who embraces a second 
husband before her weeds should be legally 
dispensed with ; while the frisky widow, who, 
having been ennobled by the Emperor during 
the lifetime of her first husband, should dare 
to marry again, is ordered to be bambooed, 
to lose her rank, and to be separated from 
her second venture. 

Strict Matrimonial Laws. 

Marriage is strictly forbidden w ithin cer- 
tain recognized degrees of relationship, and 
even persons of the same surname who in- 
termarry are liable to separation, and to for- 
feit the wedding presents to Government. 
Indeed, the matrimonial prohibitions are both 
numerous and far-reaching. A man may not 
marry an absconded female criminal — a law, 
one w'ould imagine, which it cannot often be 
necessary to enforce. A mandarin may not 
marry the daughter of any one living under 
his rule, nor may he make either a female 
musician or come'dian his wife. A priest of 
Buddha or of Tao may not marry at all. A 
slave may not marry a free woman, and so on. 

But though the State in its wisdom is a 
great promoter of marriage, it affords many 
loopholes for escape to people who find that 
they have made mistakes. Of course the 
law of divorce only applies to the wife, and 
apart from the supreme crime of wives, the 
following seven causes are held to justify the 
annulling of the marriage ; namely, barren- 
ness, lasciviousness, disregard of her hus- 



184 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



band's parents, talkativeness, thievish pro- 
pensities, envious and suspicious temper, and 
inveterate infirmity. 

It must be admitted that this hst offers 
many chances of escape to a restless husband, 
and the further enactment that when " a 
husband and wife do not agree, and both 
parties are desirous of separation, the law 
limiting the right of divorce shall not be 
enforced to prevent it," leaves nothing to be 
desired. 

Of all offences treason is, in the opinion of 
Chinese legislators, the gravest and most 
worthy of severe and condign punishment. 
So atrocious is it that capital punishment 
as laid down in the general provisions is 
considered an insufficient requital, and the 
equivalent of the old English sentence, "To 
be hung, drawn, and quartered," is met with 
in China in the shape of an even more cruel 
sentence, namely lingchi, or death by a slow 
and lingering process. 

Gashes on the Body. 

A culprit, condemned to this form of death, 
is tied to a cross, and, while he is yet alive, 
gashes are made by the executioner on the 
fleshy parts of his body, varying in number 
according to the disposition of the judge. 
When this part of the sentence has been 
carried out, a merciful blow severs the head 
from the body. 

It is a principle of Chinese jurisprudence 
that in great crimes all the male relatives of 
the principal are held to be participators in 
his offence. Thus, for one man's sin, whole 
families are cut off, and in cases of treason 
"all the male relatives of the first degree, at 
or above the age of sixteen, of persons con- 
victed — namely, the father, grandfather, sons, 
grandsons, paternal uncles and their sons 
respectively — shall, without any regard to the 
place of residence, or to the natural or 



acquired infirmities of particular individuals, 
be indiscriminately beheaded." 

But this is not all. Every male relative, 
of whatever degree, who may be dwelling 
under the roof of the offender, is doomed to 
death. An exception is made in the case of 
young boys, who are allowed their lives, but 
on the condition that they are made eunuchs 
for service in the Imperial palace. In the 
appendix to Stanton's translation of the code 
an imperial edict is quoted from the Pekin 
Gazette in which a case is detailed of a sup- 
posed treasonable attempt on the life of the 
Emperor Kiaking (1796- 1820). 

Horrible Cruelty. 

As the Imperial cortege was entering one 
of the gates of the palace a man pushed 
through the crowd, with, as it was con- 
sidered, the intention of murdering the 
Emperor. He was promptly seized by the 
guards and put on his trial, when he made, 
or is said to have made, a confession of his 
guilt. In grandiloquent terms the Emperor 
proclaimed the event to the Empire, and 
ended by confirming the sentence of lingchi 
on the offender, and by condemning his sons, 
" being of tender age, to be strangled." 

Lingchi is the invariable fate pronounced 
on any one who kills three people in a house- 
hold, or on a son who murders his father or 
mother. Some of the most horrible passages 
in the Pekin Gazette are those which announce 
the infliction of this awful punishment on 
madmen and idiots who, in sudden outbreaks 
of mania, have committed parricide. For 
this offence no infirmity is accepted, even as 
a palliation. The addition of this form of 
execution to those generally prescribed is an 
instance of the latitude which is taken by the 
powers that be in the interpretation of the 
code. 

To read the list of authorized punishments 



THE PUNISHMENT OF CRIMINALS. 



185 



one would imagine that the" Chinese were 
the mildest mannered men who ever had 
culprits before them. Admitting that tor- 
ture is necessary in China to e.xtract con- 
fessions from obdurate witnesses, the kinds 
authorized are probably as unobjectionable 
as could well be devised. But they are but 
a shadow of the pain and penalties actually 
inflicted every day in all parts of the Empire. 
Even in the appendix to this code it was 
found advisable to add the Imperial sanction 
to more stringent measures in cases of rob- 
bery or homicide. 

Instruments of Torture. 

Instruments for crushing the ankles, and 
for compressing the fingers, are there ad- 
mitted on the canonical list. The first of 
these, it is laid down, shall consist of "a 
middle piece of wood, three (Chinese) feet 
four inches long, and two side pieces three 
feet each in length. The upper end of each 
piece shall be circular and rather more than 
one inch in diameter, the lower end shall be 
cut square and two inches in thickness. At 
a distance of six inches from the lower ends, 
four hollows or sockets shall be excavated — 
one on each side of the middle piece and 
one in each of the other pieces to correspond. 
The lower ends being fixed and immovable, 
and the ankles of the criminal under exami- 
nation being lodged within the sockets, a 
painful compression is effected by forcibly 
drawing together the upper ends." 

The finger squeezers are necessarily 
smaller, but are arranged on much the 
same principle. 

But even these tortures are considered 
insufficient to meet the requirements of the 
courts of justice. Mandarins, whose minds 
have grown callous to the sufferings of their 
fellow-creatures, are always ready to believe 
that the instruments of torture at their dis- 



posal are insufficient for their purposes. 
Unhappily, it is always easy to inflict pain ; 
and in almost every yamun throughout the 
Empire an infinite variety of instruments of 
torture are in constant use. 

To induce unwilling \vitnesses to say what 
is expected of them, they are not unfrequently 
made to kneel on iron chains on which their 
knees are forced by the weight of men stand- 
ing on the calves of their legs. Others are 
tied up to beams by their thumbs and big 
toes. Others are hamstrung, while some 
have the sight of their eyes destroyed by 
lime or the drums of their ears deadened by 
piercing. 

This list might be extended indefinitely, 
but enough has been said to show that, like 
so many Chinese institutions, the penal code 
only faintly represents the practice which is 
actually in force. 

Penalty for Murder. 

Beheading is the ordinary fate of a mur- 
derer, while accessories to the deed, when 
not actual perpetrators, enjoy the privilege 
of being strangled. In the case of the mur- 
der of a mandarin the accessories as w^U as 
the principal are beheaded, and if a man 
strikes a mandarin so as to produce a severe 
cutting wound his fate is to be strangled. 

The charge has of late years been con- 
stantly made against missionaries, that they 
kill children and others to procure from 
parts of the body drugs for medicinal pur- 
poses. This sounds so barbarous that it 
will readily be believed that the charge had 
its origin in the wild imaginations of the 
most ignorant of the people. But this is not 
quite so. Some sanction is certainly given 
to the idea by the code, which provides, for 
instance, that "the principal in the crime of 
murdering, or of attempting to murder any 
person, with a design afterwards to mangle 



186 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



the body, and divide the Umbs of the de- 
ceased for magical purposes, shall suffer 
death by a slow and painful process." 

Even, if the crime is only in contempla- 
tion the principal offender on conviction 
shall be beheaded, and the chief inhabitant 
of the village or district who, on becoming- 
aware of the design, shall fail to report it, 
shall suffer to the extent of a hundred blows. 



the throne that " alarming rumors were cir- 
culated among the people concerning the 
cutting off of queues, the imprinting of 
marks on the body by 'paper men,' and the 
appearance of black monsters which played 
the part of incubi on sleeping persons." 

It would be natural to expect that the 
governor being learned in all the wisdom of 
China would have reproved these foolish. 




BEHEADING A CHINESE CRIMINAL. 



Like most uncivilized nations the Chinese 
are firm believers in magic, and place full 
belief in those arts of the sorcerer which 
have a congenial home among the inhabit- 
ants of Central Africa, and of which dim 
traces are still to be found in the highlands 
cf Scotland, and among the most ignorant 
of English rustics. Not long since the gov- 
ernor of the province of Kiangsu reported to 



imaginings, and would have used his influ- 
ence to check the spread of such ridiculous 
rumors. But the course he took, with the 
subsequent approval of the Emperor, was a 
very different one. He professed to have 
discovered at Soochow a " wizard," named 
Feng, and others who, after trial, were all 
condemned to be beheaded. Several others 
in different parts of the province suffered 



THE PUNISHMENT OF CRIMINALS. 



187 



the same penalty, and a man named Hu and 
his wife were arrested on a confession made 
by Feng that they had imparted to him the 
words of the incantation necessary to invoke 
the "paper men." 

As the statements made by the Hus were 
" stubbornly evasive, the prefect with the 
district magistrate and other officers sub- 
jected the prisoners to repeated interroga- 
tions, continued without intermission even 
by night, instituting rigorous and searching 
inquiry in an unprejudiced spirit ; as a result 
of which the woman Hu at length made the 
following confession. She acknowledged 
having met a man whose name she did not 
know, and whose manner of speech was 
that of a person from distant parts, who 
gave her some foreign money and taught her 
the words of an incantation, and how to 
send off the "paper men " to go and crush 
people. 

Head Stuck on a Pole. 

"She told this to her husband, and he, 
animated by the desire of gain, communi- 
cated the secret to their acquaintance Feng. 
On the woman being confronted with Hu, he 
made full confession to the same effect ; and 
after it had been established by thrice re- 
peated interrogatories that the confessions 
were truthful, the governor arrived at the 
conclusion that, in having been so bold as to 
follow the advice of an adept in unholy arts ; 
in practising incantation ; and in communi- 
cating the secret, the guilt of the two pris- 
oners was such that death could barely ex- 
piate it. 

" He gave orders forthwith to the pro- 
vincial judge, directing him to cause Hu and 
the woman to be subjected together to the 
extreme penalty of the law, and to cause 
the head of Hu to be exhibited on a pole as 
a salutary warning. It is now ascertained 



on inquiry," adds the sapient governor, 
"that the entire province is free from practi- 
tioners of unholy arts of this description, 
and that the population is in the enjoyment 
of its accustomed tranquillity-, whereby 
grounds are afforded for allaying the anxie- 
ties of the Imperial mind." 

This case affords an excellent example of 
the gross superstition which exists even 
among the most highly educated Chinamen, 
and it also draws a picture which, to those 
who can read between the lines, stands out 
very clearly, of the gross cruelty and shame- 
ful abuse of the use of torture. 

Compelled to Lie. 

There cannot be a doubt that Feng, having 
under the influence of torture falsely con- 
fessed his own guilt, was further called upon 
by the same pressure to give up the names 
of his associates, and that, in his agony, he 
wrongfully implicated Hu and his wife. 
The " repeated interrogations " to which this 
couple were subjected mean the infliction of 
sufferings so acute that even the prospect of 
death became a welcome vision, and by a 
self-condemning lie they escaped by means 
of the executioner's sword from the hands of 
the more inhuman torturer. 

It must not be supposed that this particular 
governor was more ignorant than the rest of 
his kind. The code, which was based on the 
laws existing during the Ming dynast^-, was 
thoroughly revised by a committee of the 
highest functionaries of the realm, and 
received the Imperial approval in 1647, after 
careful considera^on. In it we find, there- 
fore, the mind which was in these grandees, 
and that they deliberately adopted a section 
providing that "all persons convicted of writ- 
ing and editing books on sorcery and magic, 
or of employing spells and incantations, in 
order to influence the minds of the people. 



188 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



shall be beheaded." This was a fair warn- 
ing to all parties concerned. 

Lesser punishments, on what principle 
awarded it is impossible to say, are incurred 
by magicians who raise evil spirits by means 
of magical books and dire imprecations, by 
leaders of corrupt and impious sects, and by 
members of superstitious associations in 
general. Even fortune-tellers, unless they 
•divine by the recognized rules of astrology, 
are liable to be bambooed. 

As Bad as Others. 

By analogy, persons who rear venomous 
animals, and prepare poisons for the purpose 
of murder, are treated on a par with those 
who commit murder. 

In all Chinese legislation the principal that 
the family is the basis of government is con- 
spicuously apparent. The authority of the 
father is everywhere recognized, and it is 
only in supreme cases that the State inter- 
feres between the head of a household and 
his family belongings. If a man discovers 
his wife in criminal relations with another 
man, and kills her on the spot, he is held 
blameless ; and if a husband punishes his 
wife for striking and abusing his father, 
mother, grandfather, or grandmother, in such 
a way as to cause her death, he shall only be 
liable to receive a hundred blows. 

With equal consideration a man who kills 
a son, a grandson, or a slav , is punished 
with seventy blows and a year and a half's 
banishment, and this only when he falsely 
attributes the crime to another person. 
Though the code affords no direct justifica- 
tion for punishing disobedient sons with 
death, or for infanticide, it is an incontro- 
vertible fact that in cases which constantly 
occur, both crimes are practically ignored by 
the authorities. A particularly brutal case, 
of the murder of an unfilial son, was recently 



reported. The report was in the form of a 
memorial addressed to the throne by the 
governor of Shansi, in which that officer 
stated that there had been in his district a lad 
named Lui, who was endowed by nature with 
an " unamiable and refractory disposition." 

On one occasion he stole his mother's 
head ornaments, and another time he pilfered 
2,000 cash belonging to her. This last mis- 
demeanor aroused her direst anger, and she 
attempted to chastise him. Unwilling to en- 
dure the indignity, Lui seized her by the 
throat, and only released her on the expostu- 
lation of his sister. This behavior so angered 
the old lady, that she determined on the 
death of her son. 

A Helpless Victim. 

Being physically incapable of accomplish- 
ing the deed herself, she begged a sergeant 
of police on duty in the neighborhood to act 
as executioner. This he declined to do, but 
softened his refusal by offering to flog Lui. 
To do this conveniently he bound the lad, 
and, with the help of three men, carried him 
off to a deserted guard-house on the out- 
skirts of the village. Thither Mrs, Lui 
followed, and implored the men to bury her 
son alive. 

Again the sergeant declined, and empha- 
sized his refusal by leaving the hut. The 
other men were more yielding, and having 
thrown Lui on the ground they proceeded, 
with the help of his mother and sister, to 
pull down the walls and to bury their victim 
in the ruins. When the case came on for 
trial it was decided "that the death in this 
case was properly deserved, and that his 
mother was accordingly absolved from all 
blame." The sergeant, however, was sen- 
tenced, for his comparatively innocent part in 
the affair, to receive a hundred blows, and 
the three men and the daughter each re- 



THE PUNISHMENT OF CRIMINALS. 



189 



ceived ninety blows, which was considered 
only a just punishment. 

This case is significant of the supreme 
pow er which practically rests in the hands of 
parents, and is exemplified by the countless 
acts of infanticide which go unpunished 
every year. In the volume of the Pckin 
Gazette from which the above account is 
taken, a wretched case is reported, in which 
a husband drowned an infant born to his 
wife, of which he had reason to believe he 
was not the father. On another and subse- 
quent issue the case came before the man- 
darins, but the infanticide was not so much 
as mentioned in the finding. 

Children Placed at Disadvantage. 

Throughout the whole code sons and 
daughters, as well as daughters-in-law, 
stand at a marked disadvantage with regard 
to their parents. Not only is parricide pun- 
ished by lingchi, but even for striking or 
abusing a father, mother, paternal grandfather 
or grandmother, the punishment is death ; 
and the same penalty follow's on a like 
offence committed by a wife or her husband's 
fether, mother, or paternal grandparents. 

A still more one-sided provision ordains 
that "a son accusing his father or mother ; a 
grandson, his paternal grandparents ; a prin- 
cipal or inferior wife, her husband or her hus- 
band's parents, or paternal grandparents, 
shall in each case be punished with a hun- 
dred blows and three years' banishment, 
even if the accusation prove true, and that 
the individuals so accused by their relatives, 
if they voluntarily surrender and plead guilty, 
shall be entitled to pardon." If such accu- 
sation should, however, turn out to be either 
in part or wholly false, " the accuser shall 
suffer death by being strangled." 

Though neither wives nor slaves are so 
entirely in the hands of their husbands and 



masters as sons and daughters are in those 
of their parents, they suffer, from a Western 
point of view, many and great legal inequali- 
ties. A wife who strikes her husband is 
liable to be punished with a hundred blows, 
while the husband is declared to be entitled 
to strike his w ife so long as he does not pro- 
duce a cutting wound. 

Punishment of Insolent Slaves. 

Death by beheading is the punishment for 
a slave who strikes his master; but if a 
master, in order to correct a disobedient 
slave or hired servant, chastises him in the 
canonical way, and the offender " happens to 
die," the master is " not liable to any punish- 
ment in consequence thereof." 

One of the strangest sections in the code 
is that which deals with quarrelling and 
fighting, and in which every shade of offence 
is differentiated with strange minuteness. On 
what part of the body a blow is struck, with 
what it is struck, and the result of the blow^, 
are all set out with their appropriate penal- 
ties. Tearing out "an inch of hair," break- 
ing a tooth, a toe, or a finger, with countless 
other subdivisions, are all tabulated in due 
form. It is commonly observed that people, 
and therefore nations, admire most those 
qualities in which they are deficient, and on 
somewhat the same principle Chinese legis- 
lators delight to hold up to opprobrium 
those social misdemeanors to which they 
are most prone. 

If an impartial observer of Chinese man- 
ners and customs were to name the two 
most prominent civil vices of the Chinese, he 
would probably give his decision in favor of 
briber\' and gambling. Against both these 
vices the code speaks with no uncertain 
sound. The mandarin who accepts a bribe 
of one hundred and twenty taels of silver 
and upw^ards, when the object is in itself 



190 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



lawful, or eighty taels and upwards when 
the object is unlawful, is pronounced guilty 
of death by strangulation. It is no exaggera- 
tion to say that if this law were enforced it 
would make a clean sweep of ninety-nine out 
of eveiy hundred officials in the Empire. 

Gambling also is denounced with equal 
fervor, and eighty blows is the punishment 
for any person found playing at any game of 
chance for money or for goods. The same 




FIGHTING QUAILS. 

penalty awaits, in theory, the owner of a 
gaming-house, with the additional fine of 
the loss of the house to Government. The 
existence of such a law, side by side with the 
open and palpable violation of it in streets 
and alleys, as well as on country roads and 
in village lanes, reduces it to an absurdity. 
At breakfast-time workmen stream out of 
their places of employment, and throw dice 
or lots for their meal at the nearest itinerant 
cookshop. 



Coolies, in moments of leisure, while away 
the time with cards and dice as they sit at 
the sides of the streets, and the gaming- 
houses are always full of eager excited 
crowds, who are willing to lose everything 
they possess, and more also, in satisfaction 
of the national craving. Like opium, games 
of chance have a peculiar fazcination for 
Chinamen. One of the commonest games 
is known as fantan, and is so simple that 
it can be played by 
any one. The croupier 
throws down' a heap of 
cash, and each gambler 
stakes on what the re- 
mainder will be when 
the pile has been 
counted out in fours. 
This and other games 
are pubHcly played at 
the gambling -houses, 
the owners of which 
purchase security for 
their trade by bribing 
the mandarins and their 
police. Quail-fighting, 
cricket - fighting, and 
public events are also 
made subjects of 
wagering, and the ex- 
pected appearance of 
the names of the suc- 
cessful candidates at the local examinations 
is a fruitful source of desperate gambling. 
With the object possibly of discouraging 
speculation and games of chance, the code 
fixes the legal rate of interest at thirty-six 
per cent., but the enactment, if that is its 
object, fails signally to effect its purpose. 

The love of games is so deeply imbedded 
in the Chinese nature that all sorts of expe- 
dients are resorted to in order to escape 
detection. 



CHAF»T"ER X. 
CHINESE MECHANICS AND MERCHANTS. 



NEXT to farmers in popular estima- ' 
tion stand mechanics, and even a 
deeper state of poverty than that 
which afflicts agriculturists is the ' 
common lot of these men. They live per- 
petually on the verge of destitution, and this 
from no fault of their own and in spite of 
their untiring devotion to their callings. No 
one can have seen these men at work in the 
streets, or in their workshops, without being 
struck with the indefatigable industry which 
they display. 1 

From an hour in the morning at which 
European workmen are still in bed until a 
time at night long after which the same men 
have ceased to toil and spin, the patient '' 
Chinaman plods on to secure for himself 
and family a Hvelihood which would be con- , 
temned by all but the patient Asiatic. I 

As in every b anch of science and art, | 
mechanics in China have remained for cen- j 
tunes in a perfectly stagnant condition. 
The tools and appliances which were good 
■enough for those who worked and labored 
"before our era, still satisfy the requirements ' 
of Chinese craftsmen. The rudest tools are | 
all that a workman has at his disposal, and 
the idea never seems to occur to him that an 
improvement in their structure is either called 
for or necessary. , 

The abundant population and over-crowded 
labor market may have something to do with 
the disinclination of the people to the use of i 
labor-saving machinery. It is not so long 
ago that, in civilized countries, there arose , 
an outcry that the adoption of railways • 



would be ruin to all those who made their 
living by the earlier methods of travelling, 
and it need not therefore surprise us to find 
Chinamen ranging themselves in opposition 
to any contrivances which may appear to 
compete with human labor. 

The mason who wishes to move a block 
of stone knows no better means for the pur- 
pose than the shoulders of his fellow-men 
supplemented by bamboos and ropes. The 
carpenter who wants to saw up a fallen tree 
does so with his own hand, without a 
thought of the easier device of a saw-mill. 
So it is with every branch of industry. 
Many of the contrivances employed are 
extremely ingenious, but since their inven- 
tion no further advance has been made 
towards relieving the workman from any 
part of his toil. 

Great Mechanical Skill. 

In many cities. Canton, for example, 
bricklayers and carpenters stand in the 
street for hire, and often, unhappily, remain 
all the day idle. Even when employed their 
wages are ridiculously small compared with 
the pay of their colleagues in our own 
country, or even in Europe, whose hours of 
labor are short compared with theirs, and 
whose relaxations furnish a relief from toil 
to which Chinamen are complete strangers. 
In the higher branches of mechanical skill, 
such, for instance, as gold, silver and ivory 
work. Chinamen excel, and they are excep- 
tionally proficient in the manufacture of 
bronzes, bells, lacquer ware and cloisonne. 

191 



192 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



With the appliances at their command 
their skill in casting bells of great size and 
sonorousness is little short of marvellous. 
The famous bell at Pekin weighs 120,000 
pounds, and is one of five of the same 
weight and size which were cast by order of 
the Emperor Yunglo (1403-1425). Like 
all Chinese bells, it is struck from outside 
with a mallet, and its tones resound through 
the city to announce the changes of the 
watch. 

Jacks of All Trades. 

A feature in the workaday life of China 
is the number of itinerant craftsmen who 
earn their livelihood on the streets. Every 
domestic want, from the riveting of a bro- 
ken saucer to shaving a man's head, is 
supplied by these useful peripatetics. If a 
man's jacket wants mending, or his shoes re- 
pairing, he summons a passing tailor and 
cobbler, and possibly, while waiting for his 
mended clothes, employs the services of a 
travelling barber to plait his queue, or it 
may be to clean his ears from accumulated 
wax. 

Even blacksmiths carry about with them 
the very simple instruments of their trade, 
and the bellows which blow the flame are 
commonly so constructed as to serve when 
required as a box for the tools and for a seat 
to rest the owner when weary. 

It is characteristic of Chinese topsy-turvy- 
dom that that class of society which has done 
most to promote the material prosperity of 
the nation, should, in theory at least, be 
placed on the lowest round of the social 
ladder. The principle, " that those who think 
must govern those who toil," is justly upheld 
in China, but why the men who have made 
her the rich country which she is, and who 
have carried the fame of her wealth and 
power into every market in Asia, should be 



subordinate in the social scale to laborers 
and mechanics it is difficult to understand. 

The merchants and traders of China have 
gained the respect and won the admiration 
of all those who have been brought into con- 
tact with them. For honesty and integrity 
they have earned universal praise, and on this 
point a Shanghai bank manager, in acknowl- 
edging a valedictory address, presented to 
him on his leaving the country, bore the 
following testimony: "I have," he said, 
" referred to the high commercial standing of 
the foreign community. The Chinese are in 
no way behind us in that respect ; in fact, I 
know of no people in the world I would 
sooner trust than the Chinese merchant and 
banker. I may mention that for the last 
twenty-five years the bank has been doing a 
very large business with Chinese at Shanghai, 
amounting, I should say, to hundreds of 
millions of taels, and we have never yet 
met with a defaulting Chinaman." 

Chinese Merchant Princes. 

It was such men as these that built up the 
commerce which excited the wonder and ad- 
miration of Marco Polo and other early 
European travellers ; and it is to their labors 
and to those of their descendants that the 
existence of the crowded markets, the teem- 
ing wharfs and the richly laden vessels of the 
present day are due. However much in 
theory the Chinese may despise their mer- 
chant princes, their intelligence gains them a 
position of respect, and their riches assure 
them consideration at the hands of the man- 
darins, who are never backward in drawing 
on their overflowing coffers. 

It is noticeable that while novelists are 
never tired of satirizing the cupidity of the 
mandarins, the assumption of the literati, 
and the viciousness of the priesthood, they 
refrain from reflections on a class which at 



CHINESE MECHANICS AND MERCHANTS. 



193 



least honestly toils and only asks to be 
allowed to reap the rewards of its own un- 
tiring industry. As for everything else 
in China, a vast antiquity is claimed 
for the beginning of commerce. In 
the earliest native works extant men- 
tion occurs of the efforts made to barter 
the products of one district for those 
of another, and to dispose of the super- 
fluous goods of China by exchange with 
the merchandise of the neighboring 
countries. The subject was not consid- 
ered beneath the notice of the earliest 
philosophers, and Confucius on several 
occasions gave utterance to his views on 
the matter. Wise as many of his sayings 
were, it is a fact that his dicta on practical 
affairs were for the most part either plati- 
tudes or fallicies. 

It is not difficult to determine in which 
class his best quoted pronouncement on 
trade should be placed. " Let the pro- 
ducers," said the sage, " be many and 
the consumers few. Let there be activit}- 
in the production and economy in the 
expenditure. Then the wealth will al- 
ways be ample." 

It might have occurred even to Con- 
fucius that, if the producers of a certain 
commodity were in the majority, and 
the consumers in the minority, the only 
people who could possibly benefit would 
be the few, more especially if they further 
reduced the demand for the product by 
following the philosopher's advice and 
practising economy in the use of it. 

Fortunately, the merchants of China 
have not found it necessary to accept 
Confucius as an infallible guide in mer- 
cantile concerns ; and they, in common 
with the rest of their countrymen, have 
benefited by the disenthralment from the 

bondage which still binds the literary 
13 



classes to the chariot-wheels of the sage. 
The same problems which were at an early 




PAGODA AND VASES. 

date worded out in the commercial centres 
of Europe have been presented for solution 
to the frequenters of the marts in the Flower\- 



194 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Land, and occasion as much controversy as 
they did long ago. 

Long before the establishment by Lom- 
bard Jews of banks in Italy (A. D. 808), the 
money-changers of China were affording 
their customers all the help and convenience 
which belong to the banking system ; and 
three hundred years before the establish- 
ment at Stockholm of the first bank which 
issued notes in Europe, paper currency was 
passing freely thi-ough all the provinces 
of the Empire. A later development of 
trade has been the adoption of guilds, whose 
halls are often among the handsomest build- 
ings to be met with in the busy centres of trade. 

For Mutual Protection. 

The idea first took shape in a curious way. 
Provincial mandarins on visiting the capital 
found that -they were quite unable to cope 
singly with the exactions of the officials and 
the insults which their local pronunciations 
and provincial attires drew upon them from 
the people. They determined, therefore, to 
combine for mutual protection, and to estab- 
lish guilds as common centres for protection 
in case of need, and for the more congenial 
purpose of social intercourse. 

Strange as it may seem to those who only 
hear of the opposition shown by Chinamen 
to foreigners, it is yet a fact that a like host- 
ility, though in a mitigated form, is com- 
monly displayed towards natives of other 
provinces and districts. Like the provincial 
mandarins at Pekin, travelling merchants 
found the advantage of being of being able 
to show a united front to the annoyances 
which they suffered from the natives of 
" outside provinces," and, following the ex- 
ample set in the capital, they founded pro- 
vincial guilds in all parts of the country 
where trade or pleasure made their presence 
either necessary or convenient. 



Natives of Canton visiting Chehkiang or 
Hunan are now no longer subjected to the 
insults to which they were accustomed at 
the native inns. In their provincial guilds 
they may count on security and comfort, 
and, if merchants, they are sure to find 
among the frequenters of the clubs, either 
customers for their goods or vendors of the 
products which they may wish to buy. The 
more strictly mercantile guilds serve invalu- 
able purposes in the promotion of trade. 
Each is presided over by a president, who is 
helped in the administration by a specially 
elected committee and a permanent secretary. 

This last is generally a graduate, and thus 
in virtue both of his literary rank and of his 
connection with the guild has ready access 
to the mandarins of the district. Througrh 
his instrumentality disputes are arranged, 
litigation is often prevented, and the Lekin 
taxes due from the members of the guild for 
the passage of their goods into the interior of 
the country are compounded for by lump 
sums. 

^A/^le^e Revenue Comes From. 

The revenue of the guilds is derived from 
a payment of one-tenth of one per cent, on 
all sales effected by members. At first sight 
this percentage appears insignificant, but so 
great is the volume of internal trade, that 
the amount realized not only covers ex&ry 
requirement, but furnishes a surplus for lux- 
urious feasts. In one guild at Ningpo the 
reserve fund was lately stated to be 700,000 
dollars, to which must be added the amount 
realized by the deposit exacted from each 
new member of 3,000 dollars. 

Against the income account must be set 
down large outgoings in several directions. 
In the case of a member going to law with 
the sanction of the guild he receives half his 
law expenses, and a not inconsiderable sum 



CHINESE MECHANICS AND MERCHANTS. 



195 



is yearly disbursed in payment of the funeral 
expenses of those members who die away 
from their homes. Besides these outgoings 
money is advanced on cargoes expected, and 
is lent for the purchase of return ventures. 
The rules regulating the guilds are numerous 
and are strictly enforced. 

The favorite penalty for any infraction is 
that the offender shall provide either a 
theatrical entertainment for the delectation 
of his brother members or a feast for their 
benefit. If any member should be recalcit- 
rant and refuse to submit to the authority of 
the committee, he is boycotted with a sever- 
ity which might well excite the emulation of 
promoters of the system in the Emerald Isle. 

Fines for Dishonesty. 

Allied to these mercantile associations are 
the guilds which are strictly analogous to the 
trades-unions among ourselves. Each trade 
has its guild, which is constituted on precisely 
the same lines as those above described. So 
far as it is possible to judge, the action of the 
Chinese trades-unions appears to tend to the 
promotion of fair play and a ready kind of 
justice. Unjust weights, or unfairly loaded 
goods, are unhesitatingly condemned, and 
substantial fines are inflicted on members 
found guilty' of taking advantage of such 
iniquities. 

By the influence of the unions wages are 
settled, the hours of work are determined, 
and the number of apprentices to be taken 
into each trade is definitely fixed. Silk- 
weavers are not allowed to work after nine 
o'clock in the evening, nor are any workmen 
permitted to labor during the holidays pro- 
claimed by the guild. On one occasion, 
at Wenchow, the carpenters were called 
upon by the mandarin to contribute more 
than the recognized work of one day in the 
year for the repairing of public buildings. 



The men struck, and the mandarin, fearing a 
popular tumult, was wise enough to give 
way. Perhaps, also, the recollections of a 
terrible retribution which was, in 1852, meted 
out to a magistrate near Shanghai, for blindly 
ignoring the just demands of the people 
under him, may have encouraged a yielding 
disposition. 

Acted Like Savages. 

In this instance the people, in an access 
of rage such as that to which Chinamen are 
occasionally subject, and which in an instant 
converts them from peaceful citizens into 
brutal savages, invaded the magistrate's 
yamun, and, having made the wretched man 
their prisoner, bit off his ears, each man 
taking his part in the outrage to prevent 
the possibility of a separate charge being 
brought against any particular rioter. 

An even more brutal display of violence 
once took place at Soochow. It happened 
that more gold leaf was required for the use 
of the Emperor's palace than the trade as 
constituted at Soochow could supply. In 
this difl5cult>' the master manufacturer took 
the unwise step of asking the leave of the 
magistrate to engage extra apprentices. 

Possibly with the knowledge that no one 
had been punished for the atrocity described 
above, which, having occurred in the neigh- 
borhood, must have been well known, they 
determined to inflict an even more brutal 
punishment on the erring manufacturer. 
" Biting to death is not a capital offence," 
was proclaimed amongst them, and, acting 
upon this dictum, they captured the offender 
and literally bit him to death. 

On being admitted as an apprentice a lad 
has, as a rule, to stand treat to the workmen, 
and in the more skilled trades he has to 
serve five years before he is admitted to the 
rank of journeyman. Though the conduct 



19G 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



of these societies is generally beneficial, they 
are occasionally apt, like all similarly consti- 
tuted bodies, to act tyranically. 

Barbers, for example, are in many parts 
of the country forbidden to add the art of 
shampooing to their ordinary craft, it having 
been determined by the union that to sham- 
poo was beneath the dignity of the knights 




ITINERANT CHINESE BARBER. 

of the razor. During the last six days of 
the year, when the heads of the whole male 
portion of the Empire are shaved, barbers 
are forbidden to clean the ears of their cus- 
tomers, as it is their wont to do during the 
rest of the months. Any one found breaking 
this rule is liable to be mobbed, and to have 
his tools and furniture thrown into the street. 



By a long-established custom, barbers and 
the sons of barbers used to be reckoned 
among the pariah classes who were disquali- 
fied for competing in the competitive exami- 
nations. Though complaints of this depri- 
vation had been long and loud, no formal 
action was taken in the matter until the union 
took up the question. 

In their collective capacity the 
members appealed to the governor 
of Chehkiang, who, approving, of 
the spirit of the memorial, pre- 
sented the matter to the Emperor, 
and obtained for the barbers the 
removal of the disability. It is 
too much to expect that the unions 
should always refrain from bring- 
ing to bear the influence which 
they collectively possess for their 
direct financial advancement. 
Strikes are of frequent occur- 
rence, and victory is commonly 
with the workmen, except when 
their claims are manifestly unjust. 
The mandarins recognize that 
they cannot flog a whole trade, 
and the poverty of the men se- 
cures them against those exac- 
tions which would probably be 
demanded from their employers 
were they to appear in court. 
These facts are fully recognized 
by the masters, who prefer rather 
to yield to the demands of their 
men than to fall into the clutches 
of their rulers. As in all primitive and un- 
educated states of society, the Chinese have 
a rooted objection to machinery of all kinds. 
Just as they now oppose steam navigation in 
the inland waters of the Empire, so, until, 
quite lately, they rebelled against the im- 
portation of all labor-saving contrivances. 
Some years ago a Chinaman, imbued with 



CHINESE MECHANICS AND MERCHANTS. 



197 



Western ideas, landed at Canton a machine 
for sewing boots, and especially the leather 
soles worn by the natives. At this innova- 
tion the cobblers at once took alarm. They 
rose in their thousands and destroyed the 
new-fangled machine. 

In tlie same way the promoters of the 
first steam cotton-mills were compelled to 
submit to the destruction of machinery 
which, if it had been allowed to work would 
have given employment to many thousands 
of people. 

The absence of a hereditar}'- aristocracy 
deprives the Chinese of a most useful and 
potent link between the crown and its sub- 
jects. England has learned from her own 
history how great is the protection afforded 
to the nation by the presence of a body of 
powerful nobles who are strong enough to 
resist the encroachments of the sovereisrn 



and to moderate and guide the aspirations of 
the people. In China no such healthy influ- 
ence is to be found, and the result is that 
there is a constant straining and creaking in 
the social machine, which has many a time 
ended in fierce outbreaks, and not infre- 
quently in the overthrow of dynasties. 

It was remarked by a Chinese statesman, 
at the time of the Taeping rebellion, that 
t^vo hundred years was the normal length of 
a Chinese dynasty, and this bears substantial 
evidence to the want of some such mediat- 
ing influences as hereditary and representa- 
tive institutions are alone able to afford. The 
voice of the people finds no expression in 
any recognized form of representation. Po- 
litically, they are atoms whose ultimate 
power of asserting their claims to justice lies 
only in the sacred right of rebellion, which 
they are not slow to exercise on occasion. 



CHAPTPER XI. 
CHINESE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS. 



BY the highest and most revered 
authorities marriage is described, 
and rightly described, as the great- 
est of the five human relationships. 
It is the foundation of the State, and it holds 
out that prospect, which is so dear to the 
heart of every Chinaman, of obtaining sons 
who shall perform at the tombs of their 
parents the sacrifices which are necessary for 
the repose of their spirits. In one respect, 
matrimonial alliances in China have an advan- 
tage over those in Western lands. They can 
never be undertaken in a hurry. There can 
be no running off of the young lady to the 
registry office some morning before her par- 
ents come down to breakfast, nor can a 
special license be obtained in a moment to 
gratify a sudden caprice. 

In the houses of all well-to-do people the 
ceremony is surrounded by rites which make 
haste impossible, and the widest publicity is 
secured for the event. In dealing with social 
matters in so huge an Empire as China, it is 
necessary to remember that practices vary in 
detail in different parts of the country. But 
throughout the length and breadth of the 
land the arrangement of marriages of both 
sons and daughters is a matter which is left 
entirely in the hands of the parents, who in 
every case employ a go-between or match- 
maker, whose business it is to make himself 
or herself — both men and women follow this 
strange calling — acquainted accurately with 
the circumstances of both families and the 
personal qualifications of the proposed bride 
and bridegroom. 
198 



It is obvious that considerable trust and 
confidence have to be placed in these people, 
and it is also a fact that they not uncom- 
monly betray this trust and confidence in the 
interests of rich people who are able to make 
it worth their while to represent a plain and 
ungainly girl as a Hebe, or a dissolute youth 
as a paragon of virtue. 

Archdeacon Gray, in his " China," de- 
scribes a tragie scene which occurred at a 
wedding at which he was present. A dying 
mother, anxious to see her son married before 
she closed her eyes for ever, insisted on the 
marriage ceremony being performed at her 
bedside. On the completion of the rite the 
bridegroom raised the bride's veil and gazed 
on the features of a leper. The scene which 
followed was of a most painful description, 
and ended by the bride being incontinently 
repudiated and sent back to her parents. 

Professional Match-makers. 
"To lie like a match-maker" is a common 
expression, and a published correspondence 
exists between a Chinese bridegroom and "his 
friend, in which the former bitterly complains 
that his bride, far from being the beauty 
described by the go-between, is fat and 
marked deeply with small-pox. His friend, 
being of a practical turn of mind, and not 
being himself the victim, recommends the 
bridegroom to make the best of the bargain, 
and with cheap philosophy reminds him that 
if the young lady is stout she is probably 
healthy, and that, though disfigured, she 
may very possibly be even as " an angel from 



CHINESE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS. 



199 



heaven," to use his own words. This was 
certainly very comforting. 

From the time that the match-maker is 
employed, until the bond is tied, there are 
six ceremonies to be performed. 

The parents of the young man send the 
go-between to the parents of the girl to in- 
quire her name and the moment of her birth 
that the horoscopes of the two may be ex- 
amined, in order to ascertain whether the 
proposed alliance will be a happy one. If 
the eight characters of the horoscopes seem 
to augur aright, the man's friends send the 
match-maker back to make an offer of mar- 
riage. 

If that be accepted, the lady's father is 
again requested to return an assent in writ- 
ing. Presents are then sent to the girl's 
parents according to the means of the 
parties. The go-between requests them to 
choose a lucky day for the wedding. The 
preliminaries are concluded by the bride- 
groom going or sending a party of friends 
with music to bring his wife to his house. 

Betrothal of Children. 

So soon as the first of these ceremonies is 
performed, the betrothal is considered bind- 
ing ; and in the cases of the engagement of 
children, nothing but disablement, or the af- 
fliction of leprosy, is considered potent 
enough to dissolve it. Certain supersti- 
tions, however, render the contract more 
easily dissoluble when the pair are of marri- 
ageable age. 

If, for instance, a china bowl should be 
broken, or any valuable article lost within 
three days of the engagement, the circum- 
stance is considered sufficiently unlucky to 
justify the instant termination of the under- 
taking, and in cases where facts unfavorable 
to the one side, whether socially, physically 
or morally, have, in the meantime, come to 



the knowledge of the other party to the con- 
tract, advantage is taken of some such acci- 
dents to put an end to the negotiations. 

In accordance with usage, the letters 
which pass bet\veen the parents during the 
preliminaries are couched in good set terms, 
the sender of presents describes them as 
" mean " and "contemptible," while the re- 
cipient regards them as "honorable" and 
"priceless." The parent of the bride speaks 
of his daughter as "despicable," and his 
house as "a cold dwelling," while the bride- 
groom's people designate her as " your hon- 
ored beloved one," and her home as " a ven- 
erable palace." 

"The Best Man." 

The Chinese love of indirectness comes 
out conspicuously in the betrothal cere- 
monies. The bridegroom does nothing, and 
his father, who is the real negotiator, is rep- 
resented by a friend of the bridegroom, who 
alone passes backwards and fonvards be- 
tween the two houses. The first duty of 
this "best man" is to carry to the lady's 
father a statement of the hour, day, month 
and year of the bridegroom's birth, together 
with the maiden name of his mother ; and 
to receive in return a document containing 
the same particulars concerning the bride. 

On receipt of these facts the fathers of the 
pair spread the documents on the family 
altars, and beseech the blessings of their 
ancestors on the match. Astrologers are 
next consulted, and, should the horoscopes 
of the young people be propitious, the best 
man is again sent with a letter making a 
formal proposal of marriage. 

The following authentic letters, appropriate 
to this occasion, are good specimens of the 
bland self-depreciatorj'- tone which is in- 
dulged in by fond fathers when exchanging 
presents. 



200 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



The first is from the parents of the would- 
be bridegroom, and runs thus : " Prostrate, I 
beseech you not to disdain this cold and 
mean application, but to listen to the match- 
maker, and to bestow your honorable 
daughter on my slavish son, that the pair 
may be bound together with silken threads, 
and be united in jadelike joy. In bright 
spring-time I will offer wedding gifts, and 
present a pair of geese. And let us hope 
that we may anticipate long-enduring happi- 
ness, and look forward through endless gen- 
erations to the completion of the measure of 
their sincere attachment. May they sing of 
the Unicorn, and enjoy every felicity. Pros- 
trate, I beg you to look favorably upon my 
proposal, and to bend the mirrorlike bright- 
ness of your glance upon these lines." 

A Lucky Day in Spring. 

In reply the lady's father, who was proba- 
bly a wealthy man, and whose references 
therefore to his impecunious condition are 
intended only to exaggerate the wealth and 
position of the would-be bridegroom, writes: 
"A respectful communication. I have re- 
ceived your notice of a lucky day in spring 
for the ceremony of exchanging bridal pres- 
ents. Your younger brother, being a plain 
and unpretentious man, cannot escort his 
daughter with a hundred chariots." [This 
is a reference to a king in the eighth century 
before Christ, who brought home his bride 
attended by an escort of this extent.] 

" She shall not, however, be without cotton 
skirts, hair-pins, and wooden brooches, as I 
will surely arrange for the trousseau of my 
impoverished green-windowed " (that is, poor) 
" daughter. If you say that you seek the 
palace of the moon " (wedlock), "I shall ask 
for a sceptre from the grassy field, and so 
frustrate your design." 

This phrase has reference to a man in 



ancient times, who was told by a fairy that if 
he would plant some jewels in a certain 
grassy field, he should obtain a charming 
wife. He obeyed, and shortly afterwards 
made overtures of marriage to a lady who 
was renowned for her beauty and accomplish- 
ments. Her father, not particularly desiring 
the match, gave his consent on condition that 
the bridegroom presented the lady with a 
jade sceptre. Remembering the buried 
jewels, the bridegroom dug in the field and 
found to his delight a sceptre exactly answer- 
ing to the description demanded. Of course, 
the marriage took place, and the pair lived 
happily ever afterwards. 

The Symbol of Marriage. 

Historical allusions of this kind abound in 
such communications, and a curious sym- 
bolism is employed in the various rites. The 
plum-tree is held to symbolize marriage, 
probably because it is conspicuous for its 
beauty in spring-time, when, in China, as 
elsewhere, "young men's fancy lightly turns 
to thoughts of love," and no youth sighs in 
verses for a bride, nor does any maiden in 
the harem lament in numbers her lonely con- 
dition, without references to the beauty of 
the blossom, and the excellence of the fruit. 

The letter of the bridegroom's father is 
sent on a lucky day chosen by the astrolo- 
gers, and is handed to the best man, with 
much ceremony, at the family altar, before 
which the writer performs the kotow in 
honor of his departed ancestors. On arriv- 
ing at the bride's dwelling the groomsman is 
received with much state and is conducted by 
his host to the ancestral hall, where a master 
of ceremonies stands ready to direct the 
rites. At a word from this potentate they 
both prostrate themselves before the ances- 
tral tablets which stand on the altar, and 
having risen from their knees resume their 



CHINESE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS. 



201 



positions, the one on the east and the other 
on the west side of the hall. 

The groomsman then, with a few appro- 
priate phrases, presents his host with the 
letter, and at the same time offers for his ac- 
ceptance boxes of confectionary and a live 
pig, or, in some parts of the country, a pair 
of wild geese. The choice of these birds as 
a nuptial present is so odd that one is apt to 
consider it as one of the peculiar outcomes 
of the topsy-tur\y Chinese mind. But it is 
not quite so ; for we find from George Sand 
that at the marriage of French peasants in 
Berr>', a goose, though a dead one, was com- 
monly borne in the bridegroom's procession. 

Gifts and Music. 

"Near," writes the authoress, "this bearer 
of a flowering and ribboned thjTsus is an ex- 
pert spit-bearer, for under the foliage is a 
trussed goose which forms the object of the 
ceremony ; around it are the carriers of the 
presents and the good singers, that is to say 
those who are clever and knowing and who 
are going to engage in an [amicable] quarrel 
with the followers of the bride." It is odd 
to find the East and West allied in so curious 
a detail, but such marriage customs seem to be 
scarcely less widely spread than the rite itself. 

So soon as the cakes and the box contain- 
ing the letter have been placed on the altar, 
the host again prostrates himself and reads 
the letter, while the groomsman is led off to 
be regaled with tea and viands in the guest- 
chamber. The reply is handed to the 
groomsman with the same ceremonies as 
that with which the letter was received, and 
he is then invited to a feast which etiquette 
bids him refuse twice and accept on the third 
occasion. On an adjournment to the ances- 
tral hall he is presented with return presents 
of cakes, and wends his way back to report 
proceedings to his principal. 



Presents consisting of silks and satins, ear- 
rings, bracelets, and hair-pins, are next sent 
to the bride, and return gifts are offered by 
her parents. A sumptuous dinner, given by 
the bridegroom to his friends, announces the 
completion of this ceremony, which is known 
as Napi, or "The Presentation of Silks." 

The Dragon and Phoenix. 

When sending the presents it is customary 
for the bridegroom to prepare two large cards 
containing the particulars of the engagement. 
On the one which he keeps is pasted a paper 
dragon, and on that which he sends to his 
bride, a phoenix, emblems which are held to 
symbolize the Imperial qualities of the one 
and the brilliant beauty of the other. 

To each card are attached two pieces of 
red silk, which are tokens of the invisible 
bonds with which Fate has from their infancy 
connected the ankles of the pair, for, in China, 
as with us, marriages are said be made in 
heaven. To that power is left the choice of 
a lucky day for the final rite. The astrolo- 
gers who interpret the signs of the sky com- 
monly pronounce a full moon to be the for- 
tunate time, and so soon as this fixture is 
arranged, the bridegroom's father sends gifts 
of wine and mutton to the lady. 

Etiquitte requires it that the groomsman 
should ask the bride's father to name the 
day, and that he should in his turn beg that 
the bride's future father-in-law should decide 
the point. This is the cue for the grooms- 
man to produce from his sleeve the letter of 
which he is the bearer, announcing the lucky 
date, which is already well knouTi to all con- 
cerned. To this the host replies in stilted 
terms, expressing his concurrence, but adding 
his regret at having to part with his "insig- 
nificant daughter" so soon. 

For some days before the date fixed the 
bride assumes all the panoply of woe, and 



202 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



weeps and wails without ceasing. On the 
day immediately preceding the wedding her 
trousseau and household furniture are sent 
to her future home, and though the trunks 
are always locked, cases have been known in 
which the bridegroom's female relatives, 
being unable to restrain their curiosity, have 




EMBROIDERED CHINESE SCREEN 

picked the locks to examine the dresses of 
the bride. 

On the eventful day the bridegroom either 
goes himself, attended by a procession of 
friends and musicians, with flying banners 
bearing felicitous mottoes, to carry away his 
bride, or sends his faithful friend similarly 



attended. In many parts of the country this 
ceremony takes place in the evening, and is 
a mere formality, whereas in others, as will 
be presently shown, it retains more of its 
original significance. 

On entering the bride's house the bride- 
groom is received by his father-in-law, who 
conducts him to the central 
hall, and there offers him 
a goblet of wine, from which 
the visitor pours out a liba- 
tion to the emblematic geese 
in token of his nuptial fi- 
delity, accompanying the 
action with a deep rever- 
ence to the family altar in 
confirmation of his vow. 
The bride, covered from 
head to foot with a red 
veil, is now introduced on 
the scene, and makes obei- 
sance in the direction of 
the spot where the bride- 
groom is standing, for he 
is as invisible to her as she 
is to him. 

The procession then re- 
forms, and the bride having 
been lifted into her sedan- 
chair by two women of 
good fortune, that is to say, 
who have both husbands 
and children living, is borne 
to her future home to the 
airs of well-known wedding 
melodies. 
On arriving at the portal of the house the 
bridegroom taps the door of the sedan-chair 
with his fan, and in response, the instructress 
of matrimony, who prompts every act of the 
bride, opens the door and hands out the still 
enshrouded young lady, who is carried bodily 
over a pan of lighted charcoal, or a red-hot 



CHINESE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS. 



203 



coulter laid on the threshold, while at the 
same moment a servant offers for her accept- 
ance some rice and preserved prunes. 

It is curious to observe that the ceremony 
of hfting the bride over the threshold is found 
existing in all the four continents, and we also 
know that in ancient Rome the bridegroom 
received his bride with fire and water. It has 
been conjectured that the act of lifting the 
bride over fire may have some reference to 
purification, but we have no duly authorita- 
tive statement on the meaning of the act. 

The First Sight. 

In the reception hall the bridegroom awaits 
the bride, who prostrates herself before him, 
and he then for the first time lifts her veil and 
gazes on her features. The moment must 
be a trying one, especially on occasions when 
the go-between has concealed defects or 
exaggerated charms. Perhaps it is as well 
that etiquette forbids the utterance of a word, 
and in a silence which must often be golden, 
the bridegroom conducts his bride to the 
divan, when they seat themselves side by 
side, it being traditional that the one who sits 
on a part of the dress of the other is likely to 
hold rule in the household. 

But the marriage has yet to be consecrated. 
For this purpose the young people repair to 
the hall, where, falling on their knees before 
the ancestral altar, the bridegroom announces 
to his ancestors that, in obedience to his 
parents' commands, he has taken so-and-so 
to wife, beseeching them at the same time to 
bestow their choicest gifts on himself and 
his partner. Prostrations in honor of heaven, 
earth, and the bridegroom's parents complete 
the ceremony, and the newly wedded couple 
retire to the semi-privacy of their apartments 
to enjoy a repast in which they pledge one 
another in the wedding goblet. 

In some parts of the country it is cus- 



tomary for the groom to join the guests at 
their feast in the outer hall, where he forms 
the subject of countless jokes, and is expected 
to submit to a like severe ordeal in the matter 
of riddles as that which enlivened Samson's 
wedding. 

It is impossible not to recognize that many 
of the ceremonies which have been described 
are relics of the primitive right of marriage 
by capture. In the procession which, gen- 
erally at night, goes to carry the bride to 
her new home is plainly observable a sur- 
vival of the old-world usage, in compliance 
with which young men salUed out to snatch 
their consorts from their foes. 

' ' Lo, how the woman once was wooed ! 
Forth leapt the savage from his lair, 
He felled her, and to nuptials rude, 
He dragged her, bleeding, by the hair. 
From that to Chloe's dainty wiles, 
And Portia's dignified consent, 
What distance ! " 

Perched in a Tree. 

But even within the Chinese Empire we 
find almost every gradation between these 
wide extremes. In Western China, among 
some of the native tribes it is customary for 
the bride to perch herself on the high branch 
of a large tree, while her elderly female rela- 
tives station themselves on the lower limbs 
armed with switches. Through this protect- 
ing force the bridegroom has to make his 
way, and is duly assailed by the dowagers 
before he reaches the object of his search. 

At Chinese weddings also it is not unusual 
for the bridegroom to be compelled to run 
the gauntlet on the way to the bride's cham- 
ber between rows of waiting women, who go 
through the farce of pretending to bar his 
progress. But the most perfect survival of 
the old rite is found among the Lolo tribes 
of China, who indulge in a long prelude of 
alternate feastinsr and lamentation before the 



204 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



wedding, as if the occasion were one for 
mourning rather than rejoicing. 

At last, as the late Mr. Baber writes: "A 
crisis of tearfulness ensues, when suddenly 
the brothers, cousins, and friends of the hus- 
band burst upon the scene with tumult and 
loud shouting, seize the almost distraught 
maid, place her pick-a-back on the shoulders 
of the best man, carry her hurriedly and 
violently away, and mount her on a horse, 
which gallops off to her new home. Vio- 
lence is rather more than simulated, for 
though the male friends of the bride only 
repel the attacking party with showers of 
flour and wood-ashes, the attendant virgins 
are armed with sticks, which they have the 
fullest liberty to wield." 

Carrying off the Bride. 

This practice of carrying off the bride has 
its counterpart among the more civilized 
Chinese in the act of bearing the lady over 
the threshold of her house; and it exists in 
full force in Orissa, where General Campbell 
tells us in his " Personal Narrative of Service 
in Khondistan," he once "saw a man bear- 
ing away upon his back something enveloped 
in an ample covering of scarlet cloth ; he was 
surrounded by twenty or thirty young fel- 
lows, and by them protected from the des- 
perate attacks made upon him by a party of 
young women. On seeking an explanation 
of this novel scene," adds the writer, " I was 
told that the man had just been married, and 
his precious burden was his blooming bride, 
whom he was conveying to his own village." 

Ag-ain. in certain districts in China, where 
the aborigines predominate, each girl, in her 
choice of her husband, is solely led "by nice 
direction of a maiden's eyes," and pairs off 
without any troublesome formalities with the 
youth she admires and who admires her. 
But to return to the orthodox Chinese ; the 



marriage ceremonies having been completed, 
the young couple take up their abode in the 
house of the bridegroom's father, and, speak- 
ing generally, the contract remains binding 
until death does them part. 

But the obligation is more social and re- 
ligious than legal, and cases constantly occur 
in which the tie is broken by mutual con- 
sent, and freedom for the future secured 
without the interference of any court or 
proctor. On one occasion, in a case of an 
appeal to Pekin, it came out incidentally in 
the proceedings that one of the parties in the 
case had previously married a bride who, 
being discontented with the house to which 
she had been brought, incontinently left her 
spouse, and married another man. 

In popular history, also, there is a well- 
known case of a woodcutter who, having 
some knowledge of books, and being a de- 
voted student, disgusted his flippant and 
foolish wife by attending more to the works 
of Confucius than to felling trees. Finding 
expostulation vain, his short-sighted partner 
deserted him and married a more business- 
like man. Left to himself, the woodcutter 
acquired such scholastic proficiency that he 
passed all the examinations with ease, and, 
by a coincidence, was appointed prefect over 
the district where he had formerly lived. 

Nothing Said. 

Among the men employed to make smooth 
the roadway for his arrival was his wife's 
second husband, to whom it chanced that 
she was in the act of bringing his dinner 
when her first venture's cortege passed by. 
A recognition was mutual, but as the prefect 
had equally consoled himself, nothing was 
said about the restitution of conjugal rights. 

Difficulties often arise, however, in cases 
where the husband is not a consenting party 
to the arrangement, but in such instances 




< 

a 

to 
a 



205 



206 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



the husband commonly takes the law into 
his own hands, and recovers his errant wife 
by force, or engages friends and neighbors 
to intervene and persuade the lady to return. 
The use of force not unfrequently brings the 
matter before the magistrate, but otherwise 
the law does not interfere — unless, indeed, 
formal complaint of a bigamous marriage is 
made, when the law orders that the offend- 
ing woman shall be strangled. As a rule, 
however, public opinion is sufficient to bring 

the difference to a satisfactory conclusion. 
• 
Seven Grounds for Divorce. 

But apart from these irregular matri- 
monial causes, the law puts it in the power 
of the man to annul his marriage on any one 
of seven distinct grounds, among which dis- 
obedience to father-in-law or mother-in-law, 
and over-talkativeness are named. But even 
on occasions when these legal plaints are in 
question, a decree without any nisi is gener- 
ally granted by a court composed of the 
elders of the neighborhood, and not by the 
mandarins. In this and similar matters local 
social pressure takes the place of a wider 
public opinion. 

There are no newspapers in China beyond 
those published at the treaty ports, and peo- 
ple's attention, instead of being distracted by 
subjects of general or foreign importance, is 
centered in the affairs passing around them. 
The very stationary nature of the population 
adds force to this peculiarity. In most vil- 
lages and small towns the majority of people 
are related to each other through the con- 
stantly widening circles of relatives which 
each marriage in the family tends to multiply. 

A minute acquaintance with every one 
else's affairs is the natural consequence of 
this kinship. No Chinaman ever stands alone. 
He forms one only of a general body, and 
to the opinion of this body he is compelled 



to yield obedience. He would no more ven- 
ture to refuse to submit even those concerns 
which we should consider most private to 
the arbitration of his neighbors than an 
Enghshman would dream of flouting the de- 
cision of a judge and jury. 

In a well-known farce this peculiarity of 
Chinese society is amusingly illustrated. The 
hero of the play is a man, who, having 
married a Miss Plumblossom, has taken to 
himself a Miss Willow as a secondary wife, 
in accordance with the custom which will be 
presently described. To each lady a court- 
yard of the house is assigned, Plumblossom 
occupying the front part and Willow the 
rear premises. The first scene opens with 
the husband approaching his dwelling after a 
long absence. 

A Wordy \Varfare. 

The evening is drawing in, and he tells his 
servant to drive to the back door without 
disturbing the elder lady. He is cordially 
greeted by Willow, in whose company he is 
enjoying a repast, when Plumblossom, hav- 
ing become aware of his arrival, presents 
herself upon the idyllic scene. Peace in- 
stantly vanishes. In piercing accents the 
intruder reproaches Willow for having 
robbed her of her privilege as mistress of 
the household of receiving her husband after 
his absence. Nothing daunted, this young 
lady defends herself, and replies with coun- 
ter-reproaches in the shrillest of trebles, 
while the husband attempts to throw oil upon 
the troubled waters by occasional words of 
expostulation. 

So great is the tumult that the neighbors 
are disturbed, and on the essentially Chinese 
principle that every one else's business is 
your business, they determine to interfere, 
quoting as their justification a saying of a 
certain philosopher that, in cases of disturb- 



CHINESE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS. 



207 



ance if the neighbors do not interfere, they 
become participators in the guilt of the dis- 
putants. Two graybeards are therefore de- 
puted to inquire on the spot into the circum- 
stances of the quarrel. Their arrival on the 
scene, instead of prompting a desire on the 
part of the husband to eject them inconti- 
nently, and to tell them to mind their own 
business, is regarded by all concerned as the 
most natural thing in the world. 

Peace Finally Secxired. 
The ladies submit their cases to their de- 
cision, and, though it is some time before 
the storm has sufficiently subsided to enable 
them to arrive at the rights of the quarrel, 
they eventually consider themselves in a 
position to deliver judgment. They pro- 
nounce that, in the interests of peace in the 
neighborhood, it is necessary that the hus- 
band should apportion his residence equally 
between the two courtyards, residing in one 
from the first of each month to the full 
moon, and in the other from the full moon 
to the end of the month. 

To this the ladies as well as the husband 
agree, but a further question is raised, which 
lady is to have which half of the month ? 
Plumblossom claims the time of the waxing 
moon, and considers the waning period quite 
good enough for Willow. That young lady, 
on the contrary, claims that as it was then 
the first part of the month, and that as she 
was in possession, that period of the month 
should belong to her. This knotty point 
the graybeards find a difficulty in deciding, 
and they, therefore, determine to leave it to 
the throw of the dice. 

The ladies readily produce a trio of those 
endless sources of amusement, and Plum- 
blossom throws first. To her infinite delight 
she throws two sixes and a cinque, and 
thinks herself secure. But, to the surprise 



cf all, still better fortune befriends Willow, 
who throws sixes and breaks out into a 
paean of triumph, amid the strains of which 
her rival retires discomfited. 

It seems almost anomalous after this ap- 
parent instance to the contrary to say that 
polygamy is not practised in China. But in 
the strictest sense that is true. A man goes 
through the full ceremonies of marriage with 
one woman only, except on very rare occa- 
sions. A certain godlike Emperor of anti- 
quity gave, we are told in the canonical his- 
tories, his two daughters in marriage to his 
successor. With such an example as this 
before them, the Chinese have always con- 
sidered such double marriages admissible, 
and in many of the best-known romances 
the heroes marry two young ladies of the 
same household, and, if the authors are to 
be believed, always with the happiest re- 
sults. 

Naughty Fickleness. \ 

In a popular novel which has been tran- 
slated into several European languages, the 
hero makes love to a young lady through 
the medium of her waiting-maid, and with 
a despicable fickleness becomes enamored of 
another paragon of learning and virtue, re- 
siding in another part of the country, who 
ultimately proves to be the cousin of his 
first love. Towards to the end of the work, 
when the mists and doubts which surround 
the plot begin to clear, the two ladies find 
that their happiness is centred in the same 
object, and, as they have become inseparable, 
they determine to endow the hero, who is 
eminently unworthy of them, except for the 
beauty of his verses, with the double prize. 

But such marriages, though they exist, 
are very exceptional, and the secondary 
wives which men take are received into the 
household with a much abridged form of 



208 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



ceremony. No nuptial sedan-chair bears 
them in triumph to their new homes, and 
they enter the portals unattended by the 
musicians and processionists who accompany 
the first bride on her wedding-day. And, in 
fact, the relation of such a one to the mis- 
tress of the establishment is very much what 
Hagar's was to Sarah in Abraham's house- 
hold. By conventional laws she owes obedi- 
ence to the first wife, and only rises to a 



and though the advent of a secondary wife is 
occasionally resented, this is not by any means 
always the case. 

Not unfrequently ladies are pleased to have 
it so, considering that an addition to the 
household adds to their dignity. In com- 
plimentary language the ch'i is compared to 
the moon, and the secondary wife to a star, 
and in a well-known collection of published 
letters several are met with in which friends 




THE BRIDAL FEAST. 



level with her in case progeny should be 
denied to the clii, as the Chinese term the 
wife, and be granted to her. 

A case of this kind occurred in the instance 
of the late Emperor, who was the son of one 
of the young ladies who accompanied the 
Empress to the palace, and whose birth 
raised his mother to the rank of Empress. 
It is difficult for us who live under so entirely 
different a condition of things to realize such 
a state of domestic society as is here described, 



are congratulated on having taken " a star " 
to add lustre to the " moon." 

It is impossible to suppose that, things 
being as has been described, the status of a 
wife can be anything but, to say the least, 
unfortunate. As has been remarked, how- 
ever, " though the lot of Chinese women is 
less happy than that of their sisters in Europe, 
their ignorance of a better state renders their 
present or prospective one more supportable ; 
happiness does not consist in absolute enjoy- 



CHINESE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS. 



209 



ment, but in the idea which we have formed 
of it. A Chinese woman does not feel that 
any injustice is done her by depriving her of 
the right to assent to whom her partner shall 
be ; her wishes and her knowledge go no 
further than her domestic circle, and when 
she has been trained in her mother's apart- 
ments to the various duties and accomplish- 
ments of her sex, her removal to a husband's 
house brings to her no great change." 

Blissful Ignorance. 

This is no doubt to a great extent true in 
common life. Ignorance is unquestionably 
a protecting shield against many of the 
wounds inflicted by the repinings and re- 
grets which arise from a perfect knowledge. 
And Chinese women are, as a rule, provided 
with an ample shield of this description. 
There are, however, exceptions. Historj- 
tells us of women who have ruled the 
Empire, directed armies, and made them- 
selves illustrious in every walk of life com- 
monly trodden by men ; and novelists assure 
us by their creations that not a few women 
have an abundant taste and skill in literature. 

The heroines of most novels have a prett}^ 
art in composing verses and writing essays, 
and so make congenial companions for the 
heroes, whose chief claims to distinction are 
gained not in the battlefield,, or by personal 
prowess, but in their studies before the 
examiners. 

A monotonous and quiet existence is the 
most favorable role which a Chinese woman 
can expect to play. Confucius laid it down, 
and it is rank blasphemy to dissent from him, 
that a woman should not be heard of outside 
her own home. Unhappily neither ignor- 
ance, nor the placid nature which belongs to 
most of them, is able to save them in all 
cases from the miseries inherent in the state 
of abject dependence which belongs to them. 
14 



In the estimate of the other sex, Chinamen 
agree with a certain well-known Kentucky 
editor, who described women as " a side 
issue," and this view of the sex we find 
stereotyped in some of the ideographic char- 
acters of the language. 

If a husband is driven to make mention of 
his wife he speaks of her as his " dull thorn," 
or by some equally uncomplimentary term. 
In ordinary life he regards her less as a com- 
panion than as a chattel, which in times of 
adversity may be disposed of by sale. In 
seasons of famine an open market is held of 
the wives and daughters of the poorer suf- 
ferers ; and not long since, during a period 
of dearth in Northern China, so great a traf- 
fic sprung up in women and girls, that in 
some places nearly every available cart and 
conveyance were engaged to transport the 
newly-purchased slaves to the central pro- 
vinces. 

Cruel Husbands. 

When such is the position which women 
occupy in China, it cannot but be that they 
occasionally suffer ill-usage at the hands of 
such husbands as are capable of cruelty^. It 
is not at all uncommon for husbands to pun- 
ish their wives severely, sometimes, no doubt, 
under great provocation, for Chinese women, 
untutored, unloved, and uncared for, have 
all the faults and failings of unreclaimed 
natures ; but at others for little or no reason! 

The Abbe Hue tells a story of "a Chinese 
husband, who had a wife with whom he had 
lived happily for two years. But having con- 
ceived the idea that people were laughing at 
him, because he had never beaten her, he 
determined to make a beginning in such a 
way as to impress every spectator, and ac- 
cordingly, though he had no fault to find 
with her," he beat her mercilessly. 

Although this story carries Avith it the im- 



210 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



priniatur of the worthy Abbe, it may properly 
be received with a certain amount of caution. 
But even if this particular instance may bean 
exaggeration, the facts that the question, 
"Does your husband beat you?" is very 
commonly put to English ladies by Chinese 
women, and that the indignant negative with 
which the inquiry is happily always answered, 
invariably excites astonishment and incred- 
ulity, are sufficient to prove that Chinese 
women are not unusually subject to ill-treat- 
ment at the hands of their natural protectors. 
Occasionally, however, the wife has her 
revenge, and in the collections of anecdotes 
which abound there are plenty of stories of 




DEFORMED FEET OF CHINESE LAMES. 

hen-pecked husbands and masterful wives. 
In one case a certain man who at times suf- 
fered much at the hands of his wife was 
driven to seek refuge from her violence be- 
neath his bed. Unwilling to allow her victim 
to escape her, the harridan called upon him 
to come out. "I won't," replied the man; 
^'and when a man and husband says he won't, 
he won't." 

But experience shows that, after all, the 
rule tends in the opposite direction, and that 
which makes the position of a wife more 
than ordinarily pitiable, especially among the 
poorer classes, is that she has no one to 
appeal to, and no one to whom she can fly 



for refuge. By the accident of sex she is 
viewed as a burden by her parents from her 
birth onwards, and, if they succeed in marry- 
ing her off, they are only too glad to wash 
their hands of her altogether. Among our- 
selves a man is taught that he should leave 
his father and mother and cling to his wife, 
but the theory in China is that a man should 
cling to his father and mother and compel 
his wife to do the same. 

When admitted into her new home it be- 
comes her duty to wait on her parents-in- 
law in the same way as she has been accus- 
tomed to serve her own father and mother, 
and it is often from these elders that the un- 
happy bride suffers the great- 
est hardships and cruelty. 
So many are the disabilities 
attaching to married life in 
China that many girls prefer 
going into Buddhist nun- 
neries, or even committing 
suicide, to trusting their fu- 
tures to the guardianship of 
men of whom they know 
practically nothing. 

Archdeacon Gray, in his 
"China," states that in 1873 
eight young girls, residing near Canton, 
"who had been affianced, drowned them- 
selves in order to avoid marriage. They 
clothed themselves in their best attire, and 
at eleven o'clock, in the darkness of the 
night, having bound themselves together, 
threw themselves into a tributary stream of 
the Canton river." In some parts of the 
same province anti-matrimonial associations 
are formed, the members of which resist to 
the death the imposition of the marriage yoke. 
"The existence of this Amazonian 
League," writes a missionary long resident 
in the neighborhood, "has long been 
known, but as to its rules and the num- 



CHINESE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS. 



211 



ber of its members, no definite information 
has come to hand. It is composed of young 
widows and marriageable girls. Dark hints 
are given as to the methods used to escape 
matrimony. The sudden demise of be- 
trothed husbands, or the abrupt ending of 
the newly-married husband's career, suggest 
unlawful means for dissolving the bonds." 

This is the sordid view of the position. 
Happily, in this and in all other matters 
there is a reverse side to the shield, and in 
their own peculiar way the Chinese certainly 
enjoy a modicum of wedded bliss. In a 
modern Pekinese play, one of the characters, 
a widower, describes the even current of his 
late married hfe by saying that he and his 
wife lived together as host and guest, and in 
most novels we read of husband and wife 
living harmoniously, if not rapturously to- 
gether. In poetr}' also the love of home is 
constantly insisted on, and the misery of 
being separated from wife and children is 
the common plciint of the traveller and the 
exile. 

Dreary Solitude. 
In a poem entitled " Midnight Thoughts," 
Avhich was translated by Sir John Davis, the 
poet, after describing his inability to rest in 
the remote district in which he finds himself, 
goes on to say : 

" This solitary desertion ! — how bitter do I find it ! 

Let me then push my roving to a distance : 

I/et me -s-isit the passes and mountains a htmdred 

leagues hence, 
Like some devotee of Buddha,, wandering amid 

clouds and torrents, 
Ignorant of what is passing elsewhere. 
How shall I forget the melancholy of my own home? 
Thus dull and mournful through life's whole course, 
My sorrows and pains can never have an end. ' ' 

In the lines put in the mouths of the stay- 
at-home wives the melancholy of the traveller 
becomes a keen longing, and they lament in 



tearful notes the absence of their lords. But 
there is other and more direct evidence of the 
existence of happiness in the married state. 
Cases constantly appear in the Pekin Gazette 
in which wives, unwilling to survive their 
husbands, commit suicide rather than Hve 
without them. One such instance was that 
of the wife of Kwo SungUn, brother of a late 
minister to the English court. Through a 
long illness this lady nursed him with devoted 
tenderness until death came, when she ended 
her own existence by taking poison. 

Died in Griet 

Another case was once reported to the 
Emperor, in which a young widow, aged 
twenty-seven, declared her intention not to 
survive her lord, and remained for three days 
without nourishment. "At length," writes 
the memorialist, " having made an effort to 
rise and perform the mourning rites of pros- 
tration, she threw herself weeping on the 
ground, and breathed her last." The most 
curious phase of this devotion is the form 
which it takes in some of the southern prov- 
inces, where after the manner of Sutteeism, 
the widow commits suicide in pubUc in the 
presence of an applauding crowd. 

In an instance described by an eye-witness, 
a vast procession escorted the young widow, 
who was dressed in scarlet and gold, and 
was borne in a richly decorated chair to the 
scene of the tragedy. On arriving at the 
scaffold, on which stood a gallows, the lady 
mounted the platform, and having welcomed 
the crowd, partook, with some female rela- 
tives, of a prepared repast, which, adds the 
narrator, she appeared to appreciate ex- 
tremely. She then scattered rice, herbs, and 
flowers among the crowd, at the same time 
thanking them for their attendance and 
upholding the motives which urged her to 
the stq) she was about to take. 



212 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



She then mounted on a chair, and having 
waved a final adieu to the crowd, adjusted 
the noose round her neck, and drawing a red 
handkerchief over her face, gave the signal 
for the removal of the support. With extra- 
ordinary self-possession, while hanging in 
mid-air, she placed her hands before her, 
and continued to make the usual form of 
salutation until complete unconsciousness 
ensued. Such devotion to the fond memory 
of husbands invariably receives the approval 
of the people, and when reported to the 
Emperor gains his entire approbation. 

From the above account of this particular 
phase of Chinese society it will be seen that 
it represents a condition of things which 
leaves much to be desired. Nor is the cause 
of the mischief far to seek. In the very sub- 
ordinate position occupied by the women of 
China we see the origin of the evil. In a 
State where women are degraded, the whole 
community suffers loss, and the first symtoms 
of the approach of a healthy and beneficial 
civilization is the elevation of women to their 
legitimate and useful position in society. 

At present no trace of the dawn of a bet- 
ter day appears on the horizon of China, but 
the example which has been set by Japan 
leads one to hope that the day is not far dis- 



tant when the slow-moving Chineman will 
be induced to follow in the footsteps of their 
more advanced neighbor. Until quite re- 
cently the position of women in the Land of 
the Rising Sun was every whit as unworthy 
as that now occupied by their Chinese sisters. 
Happily the experience gained in western 
lands has taught the Japanese that the un- 
trammelled society of educated and pure- 
minded women exercises a wholesome and 
elevating effect on a nation. 

With the intuitive perception which they 
possess for what is best and wisest in foreign 
systems, they have, by a course of sound 
education, begun to prepare the women of 
the country for the new position which it is 
intended that they should occupy, and 
already an example is being set by the em- 
press and other leaders of fashion, of the 
better part they are expected to play. 

This change cannot be without its influence 
on China, and though we know that the sur- 
face of small pools is more easily agitated 
than the face of larger waters, yet it cannot 
but be that the spirit of reform which is now 
abroad will influence even the sluggish tem- 
perament of the Chinese nation, and will 
eventually stir to the depths the minds of 
this hitherto changeless people. 



CHAF^TER XII. 
VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



IT may be asked in surprise why no 
mention has been made of the profes- 
sional classes — the doctors, the law- 
yers and others ; and the answer may 
be returned in the words of the celebrated 
chapter on the snakes in Iceland, " There 
are none." That is to say, there are none 
in the sense to which we are accustomed. 
There are plenty of doctors, but they can 
only be described as belonging to a profes- 
sional class in the sense in which itinerant 
quacks, who profess to cure all the ills 
which flesh is heir to by bread pills, can lay 
claim to that distinction. They are the 
merest empirics, and, having no fear of 
medical colleges or examination tests before 
their eyes, prey on the folly and ignorance 
of the people without let or hindrance. 

The physicians who are privileged to pre- 
scribe for the Emperor are the only mem- 
bers of the profession to whom failure means 
disgrace. When the late Emperor was at- 
tacked by small-pox, an improvement in his 
symptoms with which the doctor's skill was 
credited, brought a shower of distinctions 
on the fortunate physicians. Unhappily for 
them, however, the disease took a fatal turn, 
and when his Imperial Majesty "ascended on 
a dragon to be a guest on high," the lately- 
promoted doctors were degraded from their 
high estate, and were stripped of every title 
to honor. 

Such of the drugs in common use as have 
any curative properties are derived from 
herbs, while the rest are probably useless 
when not absolutely harmful. No Harvey 



has yet risen to teach the Chinese laws of the 
circulation of the blood, nor has the study of 
anatomy disclosed to them the secrets of the 
human frame. 

Amputation is never resorted to, it being 
a part the creed of the people that any 
mutilation of the body is an act of disrepect 
to the parents from whom it was received ; 
and cases have constantly occurred where 
mandarins, who have met with violent acci- 
dents, and who have been assured by foreign 
doctors that amputation alone could save 
their hves, have dehberately chosen to go to 
their graves rather than lose a limb. On the 
same principle, a criminal condemned to die 
considers himself fortunate if he is allowed to 
make his exit by strangulation or the hang- 
man's cord rather than by decapitation. 

Doctors Poorly Paid. 

Between the ignorance of the doctors and 
the fees they receive, there is a just ratio. 
No physician, in his wildest moments of 
ambition, expects to receive more than a 
dollar for a \isit, and many are not paid 
more than a fifth of that sum. But, what- 
ever the amount may be, due care is taken to 
wrap the silver in ornamental paper bearing 
the inscription " golden thanks." 

On entering the presence of his patient the 
doctor's first act is to feel the pulses on both 
wrists. Not only are they entirely ignorant 
of the difference between arteries and veins, 
but they believe that the pulses of the wrists 
communicate with, and indicate the condition 
of, the different organs of the body. By the 

213 



214 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



beating of the pulse of the left arm they pro- 
fess to read the state of the heart, while that 
on the right represents the health of the 
lungs and liver. If these guides are deemed 
insufficient to make patent the disorder 
under which the patient is suffering, recourse 
is had to the tongue, which is supposed to 
yield a sure augury of the nature of the 
malady. 

Singular Notions. 

Their great object is, as they say, "to 
strengthen the breath, put down the phlegm, 
equalize and warm the blood, repress the 
humors, purge the liver, remove noxious 
matters, improve the appetite, stimulate the 
gate of life, and restore harmony." A dual 
system of heat and cold pervades, they be- 
lieve, the human frame, and it is when one 
of tnese constituents is in excess that illness 
supervenes. The Chinese delight in numeri- 
cal categories, and they profess to find in the 
five elements of which they believe a man's 
body to be composed, an intimate relation to 
the five planets, the five tastes, the five colors, 
and the five metals. 

~" The heart," they say, " is the husband, 
and the lungs are the wife." and if these two 
main organs cannot be brought to act in har- 
mony, evil at once arises. In the native 
pharmacopoeia there are enumerated four 
hundred and forty-two principal medicines as 
being in common use. Of these three hun- 
dred and fourteen are derived from vegeta- 
ble products, fifty from minerals, and seventy- 
eight from animal substances. 

Among the monstrous tonics prescribed 
by the Galens of China, are asbestos, stalac- 
tite, fresh tops of stag-horns, dried red 
spotted lizard-skins, dog-flesh, human milk, 
tortoise-shell, bones and teeth of dragons, 
shavings of rhinoceros-horns, and other pos- 
sible and impossible nostrums. Two thou- 



sand years B. C. the Emperor Hwangti wrote,, 
it is said, a work on the healing art. In the 
centuries which have elapsed since that time 
little advance has been made in the science^ 
the principal exceptions being a knowledge 
of acupuncture and of vaccination. 

It is uncertain when acupuncture was first 
practiced in China, but the faith of the people 
in its efficacy for all cases of rheumatic affec- 
tions and for dyspepsia is unbounded. So 
soon as the physician has made up his mind 
that a particular bone or muscle is in a state 
of inflammation, he thrusts a substantial 
steel needle into the part affected, and stirs it 
ruthlessly about. Happily for the patients, 
their race is heir to a lymphatic temperament 
which preserves it from many of the evils 
which would certainly arise from such treat- 
ment among a more inflammatory people. 

Thrusting in a Needle. 

The treatment for dyspepsia is even more 
calculated to produce danger and disorders 
than that applied to the joints and bones. A 
Chinese doctor does not hesitate to thrust 
the needle into the patient's stomach or liver, 
and the system of blistering wounds thus 
caused adds considerably to the danger sur- 
rounding the operation. 

For many years the Chinese have em- 
ployed inoculation as a preventive against 
small-pox, but it was not till the arrival at 
Canton of Dr. Pearson, in 1820, that the 
knowledge of vaccination was introduced 
into the Empire. A pamphlet on the sub- 
ject, translated into Chinese by Sir George 
Staunton, spread the knowledge of the art 
far and wide, and though by no means uni- 
versally used, it still allays to some degree 
the terrible scourge of small-pox which is 
ever present in China. It is seldom that a 
child escapes from an attack of the disease, 
and the percentage of deaths is always con- 



VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



215 



siderable, 'enough to create a panic among 
people better informed. 

In the north of the country, it has been 
observed that the disease becomes epidemic 
everj' winter. The reason for this regular 
recurrence of the malady is probably to be 
found in the fact that the infection clings to 
the fur clothes worn by the people, which 
are, as a rule, sent to the pawnshops on the 
return of every spring, and are only brought 
out again on the approach of winter. 
Throughout all the central and southern 
provinces leprosy is endemic. In the pro- 
vince of Canton it is reckoned that there are 
ten thousand people afflicted with this terri- 
ble malady. Though it is not regarded as 
infectious, contagion is avoided ; and outside 
most of the large cities there are leper vil- 
lages, where the victims to the disease are 
supposed to segregate. 

The Horrible Leprosy. 

The law on this subject is not, however, 
strictly enforced, and in the streets of such 
cities as Canton, for example, beggars suf- 
fering from the disease appeal for alms to 
the passers-by by exposing their swollen and 
decaying limbs to their gaze. Many are the 
strange remedies resorted to for cures in the 
first stages of the malady, but so soon as 
the disease is fully developed, the wretched 
sufferers resign themselves to their fate. It 
is recognized among the natives, as has been 
found to be the case elsewhere, that it is 
only by constant association with a leper 
that there is danger of infection, and that 
cleanliness is as potent a protection against 
the disease as damp climates and unhealthy 
food are promoters of it. 

Epidemics of cholera and diphtheria 
sweep periodically over the land, and the 
people are powerless to allay their progress 
or to diminish their intensity. Though they 



have succeeded in reaching that stage in 
which disease is recognized as a departure 
from the usual and harmonious working of 
the organism, they have yet never learnt, in 
the words of Harvey, "to search and study 
out the secrets of nature by way of experi- 
ment." 

Charms for Cholera. 

In the presence of cholera, instead of tak- 
ing any medical precautions, they have re- 
course to charms, to the worship of their 
gods, and, as a religious exercise, to the 
practice of vegetarianism. Being deprived, 
therefore, of every rational weapon with 
which to combat the malady, one would be 
inclined to expect that the disease would be 
endemic, instead of only epidemic. If the 
theory of infection is without qualification 
true, and, if no precautions whatever are 
taken to prevent the spread of the disease, 
it would be only natural to suppose that the 
areas of infection would increase and mul- 
tiply. 

No care is taken to isolate the patients ; 
no such safeguard is invoked as the destruc- 
tion of the clothes of the victims, whose 
dead bodies are frequently allowed to remain 
encoflfined in the dwellings of the survivors. 
And yet the outbreak disappears almost as 
suddenly as it came, leaving no trace behind 
it except in the sad memories of those who 
mourn the loss of relatives and friends. The 
natives believe that the outbreaks are the re- 
sults of atmospheric conditions, and they 
assert that they have seen the evil approach 
in the shape of clouds, which have swept 
over provinces, leaving disease and death in 
their train. Some color is given to this 
theory by the fact, as already stated, that 
the disease comes and goes >vithout any ap- 
parent cause, and certainly not as a result of 
any unusual sanitary or unsanitary conditions. 



216 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Much the same may be said of the out- 
breaks of diphtheria, which constantly prove 
so fatal in the north of the country. In a 
recent epidemic in Pekin, it was stated by a 
resident English doctor that in a household 
of twenty-six persons, twenty-four were car- 
ried off by this fatal disease. Indeed, the 
whole history of epidemics in China seems to 
suggest that we have not yet arrived at the 
true solution either of the origin of the out- 
breaks or of the cause of their cessation. ' 

As in most Eastern countries, the cities 




THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA. 

and villages of China swarm with mangy 
and half-starved curs of all degrees. Ill fed, 
uncared for, these scavengers range through 
the streets and lanes, picking up a precarious 
livelihood from the refuse which is thrown 
out as unfit for the food of either man or 
beast. If we add to these conditions that 
the climate over the greater part of the 
Empire is almost tropical in its heat, and that 
the water available to slake the thirst of the 
dogs is none of the purest, it will be admitted 
that no surrounding is wanting to promote 



and encourage outbreaks of hydrophobia. 
It is a remarkable fact, however, that, 
though the disease exists, it is not more pre- 
valent than it is, Chinese doctors recognize 
it, and their medical works treat of it, de- 
scribing both the symptoms and the remedies 
for its cure. One well-known authority gives 
the following prescription as a sure and un- 
failing treatment for the victims of the malady : 
"Take the curd of the black pea dried and 
pulverized, mix it with hemp oil, and form it 
into a large ball ; roll this over the wound 
for some time, then break it open 
and the inside will present a hair- 
like appearance. 

" Continue the rolling until, on 
breaking it open, it is found to have 
lost the hair-like aspect. The pa- 
tient must avoid eating dog-flesh 
or silkworms, and he must not 
drink wine or inhale the fragrance 
from hemp for a hundred days. 
Neither may he eat with safety 
diseased meat or anything in a state 
of decomposition. He must daily 
partake of plum kernels. 

When the poison of the dog has 
entered the heart of the victim, and 
has produced feelings of misery and 
wretchedness, the stomach swells, 
and there is an abundant secretion 
of saliva ; it is then proper to try the effect 
of the .skull, teeth, and toes of a tiger ground 
up, and given in wine in doses of one fifth of 
an ounce. If a speedy cure does not follow, 
the person becomes mad, and barks like a 
dog. The eyes become white and glaring, 
and death quickly ensues." 

These remedies are of a kind that are used 

in many of the other diseases which afflict 

Chinese humanity, and are equally efficacious. 

Tumors are very common amongst the 

Chinese, and as the use of the knife is prac- 



VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



217 



tically forbidden, the sufferers fail to get that 
relief which a knowledge of practical surgery- 
would, in a great majority of cases, readily 
procure for them. 

With a knowledge so imperfect, and a 
profound ignorance of physical science, it is 
not surprising that the Chinese should be 
firm believers in the magical arts. Second 
sight, miraculous interpositions, and super- 
natural appearances are common-places in 
their systems of belief. Not only in the 
novels and story-books which delight the 
people, but in the more serious works of 
philosophers and students, we find constant 
references to these occult phenomena. 

Messages from the land of spirits are de- 
livered by means of the planchette, which is 
skilfully manipulated and interpeted by the 
cunning pt-ofessors of the art ; and the fig- 
ures and features of individuals whom the 
gazers desire to see are produced in mirrors 
by the exercise of that ready imagination 
which belongs to the credulous. Fortune- 
telling by means of astrology is regarded as 
a genuine science, and the law protects those 
who practice it from the punishment which is 
prescribed for those charlatans who follow 
less established methods. 

That Famous Stone. 
From all time the philosopher's stone has 
been regarded as a verity, and it is confi- 
dently asserted that the Taoist philosophers 
of antiquity were able by its means to achieve 
the conversion of dross into the precious 
metals. History tells us of Emperors and 
statesmen who have exhausted their lives 
and treasures in attempting to discover this 
priceless stone, and the elixir of longevity. 
The ine\-itable failures in which the efforts of 
these men have ended, has doubtless con- 
vinced the more educated classes of the 
futility of the search. 



But, like all popular superstitions, this one 
dies hard among the ignorant population, 
and there are at the present day many 
thousands in China who confidently believe 
in the possibility of manufacturing gold, and 
of prolonging life indefinitely. A less base- 
less superstition is the faith of the people in 
the plant known as ginseng. The properties 
of this plant are said to be invigorating and 
life-giving. To the debauchee it gives 
strength, and to the old man it gives vitality 
and power. So precious are these qualities 
that the best plants are in theor>' reserved 
entirely for the Emperor's use. 

How^ Revenue is Raised. 

A large proportion of the revenue of 
Corea is derived from the export duty lened 
on this plant, and one of the principal 
streets of Pekin is devoted to the sale of it. 
The plant grows from tvvehe to eighteen 
inches in height, witli five long leaves on 
each stalk like a horse-chestnut. In spring 
it bears a cluster of purple flowers on the 
top of the stem, replaced in summer-time by 
bright red berries, which the searchers for 
the root look out for. Only Emperors and 
millionaires can afford the genuine article, 
for a root four or five inches long realizes 
perhaps fifty dollars. Extravagant as this 
figure may seem, it is a moderate computa- 
tion, and not infrequently a thousand taels of 
silver are paid for a pound's weight of the 
root. 

The plant is grow^n in Manchuria as well 
as in Corea, and the returns for 1890 state 
that the export duty from Manchuria into 
China realized in that year four hundred and 
fifty thousand taels. This sum does not, 
however, by any means represent the 
amount of the plant exported. Its rare 
value, the small compass in which it can 
be carried, the greed of the peasants, and 



218 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



the corruption rife amongst the customs of- 
ficials, all tend to encourage smuggling. 

That an illicit trade in the root is com- 
monly carried on is fully recognized by the 
Government, who have enacted that any one 
found attempting to smuggle more than ten 
taels weight of the medicine is to be for- 
warded to the Board of Punishments at 
Pekin, and that, in case of a less amount 
being in question, the case may be dealt 
with by local authorities. 

Quack Lawyers. 

In legal affairs the people are even worse 
off than in the matter of medical advice. 
They have no one to give them, for love or 
money, even as much help as is to be got 
for the body at the apothecaries' stalls. The 
only legal advisers are those clerks and 
secretaries who guide the mandarins by the 
light of the penal code to a right judgment 
in all matters entailing a knowledge of law. 
Like magistrates' clerks among ourselves, 
they are carefully trained in legal practice, 
and were they but free from the itching palm 
which distinguishes the official classes, they 
would be a most useful section of the com- 
munity. Having a tabulated code to which 
they are bound by law to conform, less 
knowledge and ingenuity are required to 
equip them for their profession than is the 
case with our lawyers. The absence of 
public opinion, also, shelters them from criti- 
cism, and leaves them practically a free 
hand, mitigated only by the fear of a pos- 
sibly inquisitive censor, to work their will 
either for good or ill among the people. 

The strange continuity of the Chinese 
Empire is, in the opinion of some, to be at- 
tributed to the respect with which the fifth 
commandment of the Decalogue is observed, 
and as this observance of filial piety is re- 
garded as the fundamental virtue of social 



life, it is worthy of our careful attention, and 
withal of our imitation. 

Being held in this supreme estimation, it 
is needless to say that Confucius laid great 
stress upon it. He deplored that he was not 
able to serve his father, being dead, as he ex- 
pected his son to serve him, and he defined 
the virtue as consisting in not being disobedi- 
ent, in serving the parent when alive accord- 
ing to propriety, when dead in burying him 
according to propriety, and in sacrificing to 
him according to propriety. The manner of 
performing this duty, like other Confucian 
instructions, is laid down with curious minute- 
ness. 

Duties to Parents. 

At cock-crow it is the duty of the son or 
daughter, who should first be dressed with 
scrupulous care, to go to their parents' apart- 
ments to inquire after their welfare, and to 
attend to their wants, and he or she, more 
commonly she, must so continue at their 
beck and call until the night again closes 
upon them. Those duties must not be per- 
formed in a perfunctory way, but everything 
must be done with the expression of cheer- 
fulness, and filial respect and love. 

"When his parents are in error," says the 
Book of Rites, " the son, with a humble 
spirit, pleasing countenance, and gentle tone, 
must point it out to them. If they do not 
receive his reproof he must strive more and 
more to be dutiful and respectful towards 
them until they are pleased, and then he 
must again point out their error. And if the 
parents, irritated and displeased, chastise 
their son until the blood flows from him, 
even then he must not dare to harbor the 
least resentment ; but, on the contrary, 
should treat them with increased respect and 
dutifulness." 

This kind of devotion to parents seems so 



VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



219 



strained and artificial that one would be 
tempted at first sight to imagine that it rep- 
resents merely an ideal, were it not that the 
records of the past and the experiences of 
the present reveal the existence of a precisely- 
similar practice. For many centuries the 
youth of both sexes — ^for though daughters 
do not partake of the privileges of sons, 
they share in all their duties — have had held 
up to them twenty-four instances of fihal piety 
for their guidance and imitation. 

Stories of Filial Piety. 

They are told, for instance, of a man 
named Lai, who, in order to make his parents 
forget their great age, being himself an 
elderly person, used to dress himself in parti- 
colored embroidered garments like a child, 
and disport himself before them for their 
amusement. They are told of a lad whose 
parents were too poor to provide themselves 
with mosquito curtains, and who used to lie 
naked near their bed that the insects might 
attack him unrestrainedly, and thus cease to 
annoy his parents. They are told of a poor 
man who, finding it impossible to support 
both his mother and his child, proposed to 
his wife that they should bury the child 
alive, for, said he, " another child may be 
born to us, but a mother, once gone, will 
never return." 

His wife having consented, the man dug a 
hole of the depth of three cubits, when lo! 
he came upon a pot of gold, bearing the fol- 
lowing inscription : " Heaven bestows this 
treasure on a dutiful son ; the magistrate may 
not sieze it, nor shall the neighbors take it 
from him." In this story we have an instance 
of Chinese filial piety, and an illustration of 
the effect of the Confucian warning against a 
selfish attachment to wife and children. 

It is a commonplace of Chinese morality 
that one or all of these should readily be 



sacrificed in the interests of parents, and it is 
interesting to find that this man, who is said 
to have been saved by a miracle from com- 
mitting murder, has been handed down 
through more than twenty centuries as a 
model of virtue. It is unnecessary to quote 
any more of the twenty-four instances, but it 
is instructive to glance at the state of things 
existing at the present day, as depicted in the 
Pekin Gazette, where cases may be met with 
which are scarcely less singular than those 
already referred to. 

It is not long since that the great Viceroy 
Li Hung Chang besought the Emperor that 
a memorial arch might be erected in honor 
of a man within his jurisdiction. This person 
had been, we are told, from his youth up a 
devoted student of the ancient odes from a 
knowledge of which he early imbibed the 
principles of filial piety. With devotion he 
waited upon his widowed mother during her 
life-time, and when she died he was pros- 
trated with grief and misery. 

Guarding a Tomb Eight Years. 

In his loving devotion he was quite unable 
to tear himself away from her tomb, by the 
side of which he took up his abode day and 
night for eight years, being protected from 
the sun by day and the dews by night by a 
shed which his neighbors erected over him 
as he lay on the ground. Since that time he 
has devoted himself to distributing medicine 
among the sick, and to reading the book of 
" Filial Piety " to his neighbors. Such fihal 
piety should not, the viceroy thought, be left 
unnoticed, and he therefore suggested the 
erection of a memorial arch, which was 
graciously accorded. 

But the strangest development of this 
virtue is the practice favored by dutiful sons 
and daughters of cutting off pieces of their 
own flesh to make soup for their aged or in- 



220 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



disposed parents. A notable example of 
this was reported to the throne some time 
ago by the same viceroy, who seems fortu- 
nate in the number of filial sons and daughters 
within his jurisdiction. 

This particular instance refers to a young 
lady, a Miss Wang, who from her earliest 
years "exhibited a decorous propriety of 
conduct coupled with a love of study. She 




LI-HUNG CHANG, VICEROY OF CHINA 

was a diligent reader of Liu Hiang's " Lives 
of Virtuous Women," and the poems of Muh 
Lan. 

At the age of thirteen, when her parents' 
desire to betroth her reached her ears, she 
retired to her room, and, with a pointed 
weapon, drew blood from her arm, with 
which she wrote a sentence announcing her 
intention to remain single in order that she 



might devote herself to the care of her par- 
ents. At the age of eighteen she again 
refused a proposed matrimonial alliance; 
and when the remains of her father and her 
second brother, who had perished at the 
capture of Wuchang by the rebels, were 
brought back to Kaoyeo, she exclaimed, 
with tears, that since she could not leave her 
mother to follow her father to the grave, she 
would at least varnish his 
coffin with her blood. 

Thereupon she gashed 
her arm with a knife, allow- 
ing a stream of blood to 
mingle with the lacquer of 
the coffin. She had reached 
the age of twenty-six when 
her father's obsequies were 
completed, and again her 
mother and elder brother 
urged her to marry, but she 
steadfastly declined, and 
devoted herself to waiting 
upon her mother, with 
whom she shortly after- 
wards removed to Choh 
Chow, on her brother re- 
ceiving an appointment at 
Pekin as a reward for his 
father's services. 

She allowed no hands 
but her own to wait upon 
her mother, and when, in 
1862, her mother was at- 
tacked with a dangerous illness, she cut a 
piece of flesh from her left thigh to be admin- 
istered as a remedy. In less than a year, a 
fresh attack of illness supervened, when she 
cut a piece of flesh from her right thigh, 
recovery ensuing as before. 

On subsequent occasions, when her parent 
was suffering from slight ailments, she ap- 
plied burning incense sticks to her arms and 



VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



221 



used the calcined flesh to mingle with the 
remedies prescribed, and always with suc- 
cessful results. 

After her mother's death, in 1872, she re- 
fused all sustenance during a period of three 
days, and was afterwards with difficulty per- 
suaded to taste food. Her brother shortly 
afterwards died, whereupon she escorted his 
remains to the ancestral home at Kaoyeo, 
and afterwards returning thence performed 
the same journey once more in attendance 
on her mother's coffin. 

"The devotion and energy she had dis- 
played," adds the viceroy, "exceed what 
might be expected from one of the opposite 
sex, and it is sohcited, in \^ew of the wide 
repute which has been gained by her virtues 
at Choh Chow, that a monument may be 
erected in her honor under imperial sanc- 
tion." 

Position of "Women. 

The surprise expressed by the viceroy 
that a woman should be capable of ardent 
fihal piety affords some indication of the 
esteem in which women are held in China. 
From their cradles to their graves they 
stand at a distinct disadvantage as compared 
with men. In the ancient Dook of odes 
mention is made of the custom of giving 
tiles to female infants for playthings, and 
sceptres to boys ; and in the same way 
throughout their careers women are regarded 
as "moulded out of faults," and as being al- 
together unworthy of equal fellowship with 
men. 

Following in the footsteps of their ancient 
philosophers. Chinamen have learnt to re- 
gard women with disdain and, in ignorance 
of the good that is in them, to credit them 
with much that is evil. Some of the char- 
acters in which the language is written afford 
an apt illustration of this perverted idea. 



The character used to represent a woman 
is a corruption of an Accadian heiroglyphic 
meaning the same thing. When we have 
two women together the compound is in- 
tended to convey the meaning of "to 
wrangle." The addition of a third woman 
makes a symbol for " intrigue," and in con- 
firmation of the idea conveyed by these 
characters, we find the compound composed 
of "women" and "together" means "to 
suspecf," " to dislike," " to loathe. ' 

An Old Saying. 

It was a saying reverenced among the 
Chinese that a woman should never be heard 
of outside of her home, an idea which is still 
preserved in the symbol for "rest," "quiet," 
which is a woman under her domestic roof. 
This ideograph is singularly appropriate in a 
countrj"^ where women are in much the same 
untutored state as that enjoyed by Turkish 
ladies when Byron wrote — 

"No chemistry for them unfolds its gases , 
No metaphysics are let loose in lectures ; 
No circulating library amasses 
Religious novels, moral tales, and strictures 
Upon the living manners as they pass us ; 
No exhibition glares with annual pictures ; 
They stare not on the stars from out their attics, 
Nor deal (thank God for that !) in mathematics." 

No husband or male relative ever appears 
outside his own portal in company with his 
wife or female belongings, and social inter- 
course is thus entirely robbed of the soften- 
ing influences and elevating tendencies which 
are every^vhere due to the presence of 
women. It is a mistake, however, to sup- 
pose that women do not in many fespects 
hold their own, even in the oppressive atmos- 
phere of China ; for there, as elsewhere, as 
Rosalind says in the play, " Make the doors 
upon a woman's wit, and it will out at the 
casement ; shut that, and 'twill out at the 



222 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



keyhole ; stop that, 'twill fly with the smoke 
out at the chimney." 

But their sphere of influence is confined 
to their own homes. If they have friends 
and acquaintances elsewhere, they are among 
the ladies in other households, to whom 
they pay visits in closed sedan-chairs — of 
course, this has references to the wealthy 
classes — and to whose dwellings they are ad- 
mitted by the side doors. In the same half 
furtive manner they receive the return visits 
and entertain their friends in the "fragrant 
apartments," from which even the head of 
the household is rigidly excluded. What 
we call society is therefore confined to the 
men, who pay visits, give dinners, and enjoy 
picnics and excursions like people of all 
countries. 

Long Dinners. 

The only dinner-parties, therefore, of which 
the outside world has any knowledge are 
those which lose to us half their attractions 
by being robbed of the presence of ladies, 
and which are rendered abnormally tedious 
by their great length. 

" 'Tis merry in hall 
Where beards wag all," 

says the old ballad, and Chinamen seem to 
be of the same opinion. Before the guests 
are seated a long and protracted struggle 
ensues to induce the punctiliously modest 
guests to take the places assigned to them. 

When this formality is satisfactorily ar- 
ranged, innumerable courses are served, 
with long intervals of waiting, which would 
be excessively wearying were they not en- 
livened either by theatricals or some game 
such as the Italian Morra, in which he who 
makes a mistake in the number of fingers 
shown pays forfeit by drinking three or more 
glasses of wine. If at the conclusion of the 



feast the guests are sober, which they very 
frequently are not, and if they are scholars 
the probability is that they settle down to 
writing quatrains of poetry on given sub- 
jects, when again the punishment for failure 
is the consumption of a certain quantity of 
wine. 

Beautiful Scenery. 

Like the Japanese, Chinamen are ardent 
lovers of beautiful scenery, and delight in 
picnicing in favored spots to admire the 
prodigality of Nature. Wherever mountains, 
lakes, or streams contrive to form attractive 
landscapes, there in the spring and summer 
seasons parties congregate and exchange 
ideas on everything under heaven except Im- 
perial politics. 

The etiquette observed at these gatherings 
is all laid down with scrupulous exactitude, 
and is rigidly adhered to. Even a morning 
call is surrounded with an amount of cere- 
mony which to an American suggests infinite 
boredom. It is not considered proper for 
the visitor to walk to his friend's house, and 
unless he be a military mandarin, when he 
commonly rides, he sallies out in his sedan- 
chair, followed by one or more servants, and 
armed with red visiting-cards about eight 
inches long and three wide, on which is in- 
scribed his name, with sometimes the addi- 
tion of the words, "Your stupid younger 
brother bows his head in salutation." 

On approaching his friend's house, a ser- 
vant goes ahead with one of these cards and 
presents it at the door. If the host be out, 
the porter tells the servant " to stay the gen- 
tlemen's approach," but if he should be at 
home the front doors are thrown open and 
the visitor is carried in his sedan into the 
courtyard, where the host attired in his robes 
of ceremony, greets him with many bows. 

Thence he is conducted to the central 



VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



223 



hall, where, after much friendly contention as 
to the seats they shall occupy, the guest 
finally and invariably is induced to take the 
place of honor on his host's left hand. 

The practice universally followed of the 
speaker applying adulatory terms towards 
his interlocutor and depreciatory ones towards 
himself, adds to the stilted formalities on 
such occasions. Everything connected with 
the pQrson spoken to — his age, his neighbor- 
hood, his name, his relations, etc. — are " hon- 
orable," "respected," "lofty," and "distin- 
guished/' while the speaker's are "con- 
temptible" and "rude." His friend's house 
is a "palace," his is "a reed hut." 

"Is the Chariot Well?" 
But perhaps the strangest of these set 
phrases are the indirect terms by which one 
man addresses another. On receiving a 
\isitor, a common expression is, "Is the 
honorable chariot well?" meaning, of course, 
the man who drives in the chariot, or "you." 
In the same way, the term "beneath the 
council-chamber," and "at the feet," are 
similarly used, implying a wish that those 
addressed may become Ministers of State, 
"the feet," of course, being those of the Son 
of Heaven. But, however much acquaint- 
ances may discuss subjects relating to them- 
selves, no mention is ever made of their 
wives or daughters, who are as completely 
tabooed, except between very intimate friends, 
as though they did not exist. 

This estrangement between the sexes is 
carried out in deed as well as in word. It 
is laid down on authorit}' that in no case 
may a woman and a man touch each other 
in giving and receiving, and so literally was 
this command accepted, that it was held by 
many that it was even improper for a man 
to save a woman from drowning. 

A hj'pothetical case was put to Mencius 



on the subject : " If one's sister-in-law is 
drowning, ought she to be drawn out with 
the hand?" To which Mencius replied, "It 
is wolfish not to draw out a drowning sister- 
in-law." And probably most people Avill 
agree with the philosopher. Even brothers 
and sisters, so soon as they have ceased to 
be children, are entirely separated, and are 
allowed intercourse only on formal condi- 
tions. Outside the family circle young men 
do occasionally, like Romeo, "\vith love's 
light wings o'er-perch the walls" of etiquette 
which surround the objects of their admira- 
tion, and we have abundance of evidence in 
native novels that communications are kept 
up betAveen young ladies and stranger 
youths, but always with a most circumspect 
regard to the conventionalities. 

Punishment for Eloping. 

Prenuptial elopements occur but rarely, 
and the penalty which awaits the hasty pah- 
in case of capture is imprisonment, which 
lasts as long as the vindictiveness of the 
parents determines. Commonly a maidser- 
vant acts as the Mercury bet%veen the lovers, 
and in one well-known novel the heroine 
nurses the hero in this xacarious way through 
a long illness, and eventually marries him 
out of regard for the scrupulous way in 
which he had confined himself to orthodox 
behavior. 

In another romance the heroine, who, hke 
most heroines in Chinese novels, was a 
Phoenix of learning and possessed of an 
exquisite poetic talent, tests the hero's capa- 
bilities by setting him themes on which he 
is expected to write pieces of poetrj', but 
she declines to write the themes, on the 
ground that things written in the women's 
apartments should not be handed about to 
be seen of men. In such an artificial state 
of society dangers must arise, and the appre- 



224 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



hension of it prompts mothers to desire to 
marry their daughters at as early an age as 
possible. 

It not unfrequently happens that, as in 
India, mere infants are betrothed, and noth- 
ing but the death of either is considered suf- 
ficient to annul the bond. Even this event 
is not always accepted by the survivor, when 
the survivor is a girl, as a cancelling of the 






rt^ 



PAVILION NEAR THE MENCIUS TEMPLE. 

engagement. The Pekm Gazette bears testi- 
mony to the occurrence of such cases, though 
it must be acknowledged that the flourish of 
trumpets with which they are announced to 
the throne suggests the idea that they form 
the exceptions rather than the rule. Per- 
sonal feeling cannot enter into the considera- 
tion which prompts this action, for the 
probability is that the couple have never 
seen one another, and it can therefore only 




be out of regard for the letter of the law, 
which custom decides must be observed. 

A few years since a young lady was held 
up to admiration in a memorial to the throne 
for having starved herself to death on hearing 
of the decease of her betrothed, and cases are 
often officially reported in which the surviving 
young lady refuses positively to listen to any 
other marriage proposals. 

One maiden lately earned distinction by 
clasping her betrothed 's memorial tablet to 
her arms and going through the marriage 
ceremony with it. It is quite possible, how- 
ever, that the edge of these young ladies* 
adherence to the rules of propriety may be 
sharpened by an appreciation of the more 
than usually precarious lottery which mar- 
riage is in China. It is true that young men 
occasionally pay the same honor to the 
memory of their deceased lovers, and are 
content to wed the shades of their mistresses ; 
but the same constancy is not expected of 
them, nor if it existed would be approved of 
by the censors of Chinese morals. 

Funeral Customs. 

Having spoken of marriage, we now turn 
to Chinese customs observed in the burial of 
the dead. 

"I venture to ask about death," said Chi 
Lu to Confucius. " While you do not know 
about life, how can you know about death ? " 
was the unsatisfying reply. 

And though this is the orthodox Confu- 
cian view of the momentous question, the 
people at large have bettered the instruction 
of the sagp and have developed a full faith 
in an after life, in which those who have done 
good pass to the blissful regions of the west, 
where, surrounded with peace and happiness, 
they live an eternal round of joy ; and those 
that have done evil are relegated to the in- 
fernal regions, where executioners even more 



VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



225 



cruel than those to which they are accus- 
tomed on earth, torture with merciless bru- 
tality'. 

Authors of works of a religious nature 
delight in describing in detail the horrors 
that await the spirits of evil-doers. They 
are sawn asunder, they are devoured by wild 
beasts, they are thrown into caldrons of 
boiling oil, they are committed to the flames, 
and if there are any other shameful and vio- 
lent deaths, they form a treasured part of the 
punishments of the condemned. 

Dressed for Death. 

These beliefs find expression in the elabo- 
rate ceremonial which surrounds the burial 
of the dead. On the approach of death the 
invalid is borne into the central hall, where, 
on a bed of boards, he is gently laid with his 
feet towards the door. In preparation for 
the decease his robes and hat of office, if he 
be a mandarin, and, if a commoner, his best 
attire, are placed beside him, and when the 
last supreme moment arrives he is dressed in 
state, and so meets his fate in full canonicals. 

After death a priest is summoned, who, 
after having saved the soul from perdition by 
the use of incantations, calls upon one of the 
three spirits which are said to inhabit every 
man, to hasten to the enjoyment of bliss in 
the empyrean regions of the west. Of the 
two other spirits, one is supposed eventually 
to remain with the corpse in the grave, and 
the other to be attached to the ancestral 
tablet which ultimately finds its place in the 
family hall. 

When this ceremony is completed, the 
chief mourner, in the company of friends 
and supporters — for grief is supposed to 
have so broken him down as to have ren- 
dered him unable to walk without the help of 
a friendly arm and of a sustaining staff — 
goes to the nearest river or stream "to buy 
15 



water" to lave the features of the dead. 
Having thrown some copper cash into the 
water, accompanied sometimes by a small 
fish, which is supposed to announce the 
transaction to the river god, he fills a bowl 
from the current and returns to perform his 
sacred office. 

The coffin is a massive structure, made of 
four boards, from three to four inches in 
thickness, of a hard and durable wood. In 
this the body is laid on a bed of quicklime 
and charcoal, and the cover is hermetically 
sealed with cement. This is necessary for 
the sake of the survivors, since custom pro- 
vides that the coffin should remain above 
ground for seven times seven days, and it 
sometimes happens that the inability of the 
astrologers to discover a lucky day for the 
interment, entails a still longer pre-sepulchral 
period. 

A Tragic Incident. 

Much virtue exists in the stjde and nature 
of the cofllin, and most men as they advance 
in years provide themselves with their future 
narrow beds, if, indeed, their sons have not 
been sufficiently filially minded to make them 
presents of them. A tragic incident, in which 
an old msm's coffin formed a leading feature, 
was lately described in the Pekin Gazette. 
A certain Mr. Chia had a son who was as 
dissolute as he was disrepectful, and who, in 
a moment of financial pressure, sold the 
coffin which his father, with prudent fore- 
sight, had prepared for his final resting-place. 

On . the theft being discovered, Chia at 
once charged his son with the crime, and in 
his anger swore that if the coffin were not 
returned he would, so soon as he recovered 
from an illness from which he was suflfering, 
bring him before the authorities and cause 
him to be put to death. This threat so 
enraged the young man that, in a moment 



226 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



of drunken fury, he strangled his father. 
For such a crime there could be only one 
sentence, and the wretched criminal was con- 
demned to the slow and lingering process of 
being sliced to death. 

Before closing the coffin it is customary to 
put in the mouth of the deceased five prec- 
ious substances, which vary in value with the 
wealth of the family. The Chinese do not 
offer any explanation of this practice, not 
even the very reasonable Roman explanation, 
that the money so placed serves as the wage 
due to Charon for the passage over the Styx. 

Valuables Buried. 

In some parts of the country, also, it is 
usual to deposit by the side of the body any 
object or objects, such as books, pipes, etc., 
which may have been especially valued by 
the deceased. The coffin is closed in the 
presence of the family, who prostrate them- 
selves before the bier. When the day chosen 
by the soothsayers for the interment arrives, 
offerings of cooked provisions are placed 
beside the coffin, and the mourners, dressed 
in coarse white sackcloth, perform endless 
prostrations before it. 

Should the deceased have been a man of 
consideration, a vast concourse assembles to 
follow him to the grave. A curious super- 
stition attaches to the first raising of the 
coffin. At the moment that the bearers lift 
the sarcophagus, the relatives all fly from the 
room, it being believed that should any mis- 
adventure occur, the spirit of the deceased 
would avenge itself on all those who were 
present at the moment of the removal. The 
number of bearers is regulated by the posi- 
tion of the family, and varies from sixty-four 
to four. 

When the procession is formed, a man 
carrying a long streamer of white cloth, 
known as the " soul-cloth," marches in front, 



followed by two men bearing banners, on 
which are inscribed sentences implying a 
hope that the deceased may be enjoying 
himself in the company of the blessed. 
After these comes a man holding up a white 
cock, which is supposed to summon the soul 
to accompany the body, and behind him 
follow two sedan-chairs, in the first of which 
is carried the ancestral tablet of the dead 
man, and in the second his portrait. 

Supporting themselves by the shafts of 
these sedan-chairs, two of the principal 
mourners drag themselves along. The 
eldest son, if there be one, immediately 
precedes the coffin, and affects complete 
inability to walk without the help of the 
staff of wood, or of bamboo, according to 
whether he is mourning for his father or his 
mother, which he carries in his hand. 

Scattering Paper Money. 

Behind the coffin follow the female rela- 
tives and friends. Even on this solemn 
occasion the frivolous rules for the separation 
of the sexes are rigorously observed, and a 
white cord, held at the ends by two men, is 
sometimes used to separate the male from 
the female mourners. As the procession 
advances, paper money is scattered on all 
sides to appease the hunger of any destitute 
ghosts which may be haunting the road. 
With the coffin a pot of rice is lowered into 
the grave, and grains and tea are scattered 
over it. In some parts of the south it is 
customary to bury effigies of cows in the 
grave as correctives against evil influences. 

As the grave-diggers shovel in earth to 
earth, the priest takes the white cock, and, 
.standing at the foot of the tomb, makes the 
bird bow thrice towards the coffin. This 
strange rite is repeated by the chief mourners, 
and the " soul-cloth " is then burned to ashes. 
After a short exhortation from one of the 



VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



227 



deceased, the procession re-forms, and returns 
to the house in the same order in which it 
set out. 

On crossing the threshold of their home, 
it is sometimes customary for the mourners 
to purify themselves by stepping over a fire 
made of straw, after which their first dut>' is 
to carry the deceased's tablet, with every 
token of respect, to the principal room, 
where it remains for a hundred days. The 
mourners then proceed to celebrate " the feast 
of the dead," and with that the funeral cere- 
mony may be said to be brought to a close. 
For thirty days the nearest relatives of the 
deceased abstain from shaving their heads or 
changing their clothes, and for twenty-seven 
months sons are expected to wear all the 
panoply of woe. 

Brief Period of Mourning. 

Married daughters, having passed out of 
the family circle, are not always invited to 
the obsequies ; but when they are, they are 
not expected to mourn for more than seven 
days. At the end of that time they adorn 
themselves once again in jewelry and 
colors, and so return to their homes, it being 
considered contrary to etiquette for them to 
carry the signs of lamentation into their hus- 
bands' presence. 

Many of the ceremonials surrounding fun- 
erals var}' in different parts of the country as 
much as the shapes given to the tombs. In 
some parts it is the practice for the mourn- 
ers to put on mourning only on the third day 
after the death has taken place, it being con- 
sidered that it is within the bounds of possi- 
bility that a trance, and not death, may hold 
the patient senseless. For a considerable 
period those who are husbands are bound to 
be as strangers to their wives, and all are for- 
bidden to seek recreation at the theatres or 
concert-rooms. 



For seven days a widow mourning the 
loss of her husband is supposed to show her 
grief by sitting on the ground instead of on 
chairs, and by sleeping upon a mat instead of 
upon her bed. On the seventh day it is custo- 
mary^ for friends to send presents of cakes 
and banners, the first of which are presented 
as offerings to the dead man, while the ban- 
ners are hung ronnd the hall in which the 
coflRn reposes. By this time all hope of his 
return to life has disappeared, and the letters 
which accompany the gifts of friends are 
burnt in the sacred fire and are so transmitted 
to the manes of the dead in the blessed 
regions of the West. 

On the same day priests offer up prayers 
for the flight of the soul to its new abode, 
and construct a bridge by an arrangement of 
tables and stools over which the effigy of the 
deceased is carried, thus emblematizing the 
removal of the soul from Hell to Heaven. 

Fear of Ghosts. 

In many of the ceremonies we see traces 
of the old-world fear that the ghostly pres- 
ence of the dead may possibly haunt the 
survivors. The priest at the grave commonly 
adjures the spirit to remain with the body; 
and, as a rule, a sufficiently weighty super- 
incumbent mass of earth, stone or masonry 
is placed over the tomb to prevent the pos- 
sibility of a resurrection. In the hilly south 
the graves are dug on the sides of hills, and 
the tomb is shaped like a horseshoe. 

In the north, where the country is for the 
most part flat, conically shaped mounds sur- 
rounded by a bank and ditch form the ordi- 
nary- graves. Wealthy families generally 
have grave-yards of their own, surrounded 
by a belt of cypress trees, which are sup- 
posed to offer complete protection from a 
huge monster who, ghoul-like, delights in 
devouring the dead. The tombs of nobles 



228 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



are often approached by an avenue of stone 
figures, representing ministers of state, war- 
riors, horses, camels, sheep, tigers, etc., and 
the same kinds of statues ornament the Im- 
perial tombs ; the figures are, as a rule, 
more than life-size, and in many cases are 
executed with considerable taste and skill. 

The body of a member of a family who 
dies away from home is invariably brought 
back to the ancestral hall with one exception. 
If his home should be within the walls of a 
city, no ceremonial punctilios and no senti- 
mental feelings avail to counterbalance the 
law which forbids the introduction of a dead 
body within the walls of a city. 

Honors to Mandarins. 

Occasionally some mandarin who has died 
in his country's service, after having gained 
honors and distinctions, is allowed by the 
special edict of the Emperor to be borne 
through the streets of his native city, but 
even the body of such a one is not allowed 
to rest within the walls. This rule may 
possibly show that the Chinese are not en- 
tirely blind to the laws of sanitation, and the 
regulation which forbids all intramural burial 
seems also to point in the same direction. 

No such ceremonies as those described 
above attend the funerals of infants, un- 
married children, concubines or slaves, and 
it is no uncommon sight to see in the north 
of China the bodies of these unfortunates 
thrown out upon the plains and on the hills 
to be devoured by beasts of prey. Crema- 
tion is never practiced in China except in the 
case of Buddhist priests, and the only con- 
tingency in which the practice is sanctioned 
by the penal code is when relatives " happen 
to die in a distant country and the children 
or grandchildren are unable to bring the 
corpse to be interred in the native district of 
the deceased." 



In all other circumstances, the penalty of 
a hundred blows is to be awarded to any 
one " who consumes a corpse with fire or 
commits it to the waters." In bygone days 
it was the practice, on the death of an Em- 
peror, to immolate the favorite wives at the 
tomb of the deceased potentate, and at the 
grave of Shunchi, the first Emperor of the 
present dynasty, thirty persons were buried 
beside him. His son Kanghk'si (1661— 
1 721), however, put an end to the practice 
by commanding that the four wives who 
had paid him the compliment of wishing to 
accompany him into Hades should be for- 
bidden to sacrifice their lives fOr so useless a 
purpose. 

Other curious Chinese customs relate to 
the Emperor and his Court. The Son of 
Heaven admits no equality on the part of 
any other sovereign in the world, and this 
refusal has occasioned a vast amount of con- 
troversy. No one can have an audience with, 
him as an equal. 

Audiences With the Emperor. 

The audience question has occupied a 
prominent place in recent negotiations with 
China, and probably many people are sur- 
prised that so ordinary a matter should have 
been so constantly a subject of debate. But 
Chinese ways are not our ways, and a cere- 
mony which among civilized nations is 
regarded as a common act of courtesy 
between sovereigns, has in China become 
complicated by the absurd pretensions of the 
Government to a superiority over all the 
world. 

Like a spoilt heir who has been brought 
up in secluded surroundings, the Chinese 
have long been surfeited with dominion and 
glory in the midst of neighboring tribes, who 
stand on a lower level of civilization than that 
which they occupy. In the long history of 



VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



229 



the Empire such an event as an ambassador 
being received as representing a sovereign on 
terms of equahty with the Emperor, has never 
been known ; and this pretension to supre- 
macy, which materially contributes to the 
maintenance of the power which the Empire 
possesses, enters into the life of the nation 
and is, to a great extent, a matter of life and 
death in its present unregenerate state. 

Court of the "Son of Heaven." 
The proposal, therefore, that the foreign 
ministers resident in Pekin should be re- 
ceived in the manner common in civilized 
countries, has deen persistently combated by 
the mandarins. It must be confessed that 
precedent has been in their favor. The 
Portuguese and Dutch ambassadors, who 
visited Pekin in the seventeenth and eigh- 
teenth centuries, all submitted to the degra- 
dation of appearing as envoys of tributaries 
at the court of the Son of Heaven. 

From an account given of the mission of 
Alexander Metello de Sousa Menezes, in 
1727, we learn that at the audience granted 
to him by the Em.peror Yungcheng, " his 
excellency entered the western gates [of the 
reception hall], ascended the steps of the 
throne, and, kneeling, presented his creden- 
tials ; he then rose, went out by the same 
way, and in front of the middle door that was 
open the ambassador and retinue p>erformed 
the usual act of obedience, that is, knelt and 
struck their heads on the ground nine times. 
About a century earlier a Dutch embassy 
was treated with even greater contempt. 
The ambassador and his staff met " with a 
vile reception and degrading treatment. 
They were required to humiliate themselves 
at least thirt}' different times ; at each of 
which they were obliged, on their knees, to 
knock their heads nine times against the 
ground, which," adds Barrow, in his " Travels 



in China," " Mr. Van Braams, in his journal, 
very coolly calls performing the salute of 
honor." 

Lord Macartney, in 1793, had the honor 
of being the first who refused to submit to 
this degrading ceremony. Happily at this 
time a sovereign was on the throne who had 
sufficient independence to sanction a depar- 
ture from the ordinary- routine, and who had 
sufficient good sense to do honor to the self- 
respect of the ambassador. On arnNang at 
Pekin Lord Macartney found that the Empe- 
ror Kienlung was at his hunting-palace at 
Jehol (whither, in i860, the Emperor Hien- 
feng fled before the allied forces of England 
and France). By Kienlung's invitation. Lord 
Macartney proceeded to Jehol, and was there 
received by him in a magnificent tent in the 
palace garden. • 

His Majesty Appears. 

In accordance with Eastern custom, the 
audience was granted at sunrise, and further, 
in accordance with practice, the ambassador 
was required to be in attendance some hours 
before the arrival of the Emperor. This 
delay was sufficiently discourteous, but it was 
an improvement on the treatment to which 
the Dutch ambassador had been subjected in 
the preceding century, when the unfortunate 
envoy was left sitting "all night in the open 
air, and upon the blue stones till morning." 

Soon after daylight the sound of music 
announced the Emperor's approach, and 
without further delay his majesty took his 
seat upon a throne set up in the tent. On all 
sides he was surrounded by princes of the 
blood and the highest officers of state, some 
of whom conducted the ambassador from the 
tent in which he had awaited the Emperor's 
arrival to the Imperial presence. 

" The ambassador, pursuant to instructions, 
received from the president of ceremonies, held 



230 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



a large magnificent square gold box, embel- 
lished with jewels, containing his majesty's 
letter to the Emperor, between both hands, 
raised above his head, and mounting the 
steps which lead to the throne, and bending 
upon one knee, presented the box with a 
suitable laconic address, to his Imperial 
Majesty, who received it graciously with his 
own hands, put it by his side and represented 
the satisfaction he felt at the testimony which 
his Britannic Majesty gave to him of his 
esteem and good will in sending him an em- 
bassy, with a letter, and rare presents ; that 
he, on his part, entertained sentiments of the 
same kind towards the sovereign of Great 
Britain, and hoped that harmony would 
always be maintained among their respective 
subjects." 

Ceremonies Set Aside. 

At a feast which was subsequently given 
to Lord Macartney and the chief Tartar 
tributaries, the Emperor marked his regard 
for the English ambassador by sending him 
several dishes from his own table, and by 
presenting to him and his staff cups of wine 
with his own hand. 

The reception thus accorded to Lord 
Macartney showed a marked advance towards 
the customs of civilized nations. The kotow 
was not insisted upon, and though the am- 
bassador bent one knee in presenting his cre- 
dentials, the audience, taken as a whole, was 
as satisfactory as could have been expected. 
To the Emperor Kienlung succeeded Kia 
King, who was as bigoted and narrow-minded 
as his father had been liberal and enlightened. 

To him Lord Amherst was accredited in 
1816, and from the first opening of negotia- 
tions it became at once obvious that the new 
Emperor was determined to return from the 
position taken up by his predecessor to the 
preposterous pretensions of former times. 



Even before Lord Amherst's arrival at Pekin 
he was met by the asseverations of the com- 
missioners deputed to meet him that he 
could only be admitted into the Imperial 
presence by consenting to perform what Van 
Braams described as " the salute of honor." 
This he positively declined to do, and the 
commissioners, who had distinct orders to 
arrange an audience, were at their wits' end 
how to reconcile the Imperial commands 
with the ambassador's attitude. The symbol 
used to express on paper the word " deceit" 
is made up, as has been said, of parts signi- 
fying a " woman's weapon." 

Way Out of a Difficulty. 

In China " a man's weapon " would be 
equally applicable, and, in this particular in- 
.stance, the commissioners determined to use 
this well-worn arm to rid themselves of the 
diflficulty. In later communications with 
Lord Amherst they agreed to waive the 
point, and assured him that all that would 
be demanded of him would be such a genu- 
flection as had been performed by Lord 
Macartney. 

To the Emperor, however, they reported 
that the ambassador was ready to obey his 
commands, and they even drew up a docu- 
ment in which the whole ceremony was min- 
ntely described, and in which the ambas- 
sador and suite were made to perform the 
kotow on several occasions. In pursuance 
of his arrangement with these double-faced 
gentlemen. Lord Amherst went to Yuen- 
Ming-Yuen, where the Emperor was then 
residing. 

It was, however, plainly impossible for the 
commissioners to admit him into i:he Im- 
perial presence, since they knew that it 
would be beyond their power to make him 
perform the kotow, and were equally aware 
that the absence of the act would bring 



VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



231 



down the wrath of the Emperor upon them. 
The manoeuvre which they adopted in 
this difficulty is interesting. They per- 
suaded the Emperor to order the ambas- 
sador into his presence the instant he ar- 
rived at the palace. As the journey had 
been long and tedious, and the ambassador 
was way-worn and wear}'-, he excused him- 
self from obeying this very discourteous 
command, as the commissioners expected he 
would do, on the ground of fatigue. They 
then prompted the Emperor to dismiss him 
from the court, and the luckless ambassador 
was obliged to return with his mission un- 
fulfilled. 

An Opportvmity Lost. 

In accordance with civilized usage, the re- 
sidence of the foreign ministers at Pekin 
would naturally entail their being received in 
audience by the Emperor; and, if Lord 
Elgin, when in command of Pekin, had in- 
sisted upon the fugitive Emperor Hienfeng 
returning to the capital to receive him in 
audience, no further difficulties on the sub- 
ject would have arisen. But the opportun- 
ity was allowed to lapse, and a true solution 
of the difficulty has still to be arrived at. 

The death of Hienfeng, in 1861, and the 
long minority' of his successor Tungchi, 
postponed any further consideration of the 
matter until 1873. In that year the Em- 
peror, having attained his majority, and hav- 
ing signalized the event by taking to himself 
three wives, accepted the reins of power 
from the Dowager Empresses, who had gov- 
erned the Empire during the past twelve 
years. The time had thus arrived when the 
audience question had again to be consid- 
ered ; and, after much negotiation with the 
ruling powers, it was arranged that the 
foreign ministers should be collectively 
granted a reception at such time and place 



as the Emperor might determine. This was 
the best that could be done. 

The Chinese authorities, recognizing that 
the kotcnu was no longer in question, directed 
all their efforts towards persuading the min- 
isters to bow the knee after the precedent set 
by Lord Macartney. But against this pro- 
position the ministers showed a determined 
front, and the Chinese, being compelled to 
give way on this point also, turned their at- 
tention to obtaining some advantages in re- 
turn for the concessions accorded. 

The Dutch and Portuguese ministers, who 




> ,^ 



■'"•Oaf^\m>) 



A HIGH-CASTE MANDARIN. 

had bowed to the ground in the presence of 
the Son of Heaven, had been received in the 
Imperial audience-chamber within the pal- 
ace ; and Lord Macartney, who had bent the 
knee, had been allowed to place his creden- 
tials in the hands of the Emperor. As the 
present generation of ministers had refused 
either to kotoza or genuflect, it became neces- 
sary to emphasize the superiority of the Em- 
peror over the sovereigns whom they rej>- 
resented, by refusing them admittance within 
the gates of the palace. 

A pavilion, known as the Tzu-Kuang Ko, 
was, therefore, chosen for the ceremony. 



232 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



According to the best authorities, this build- 
ing is that in which the Mongol princes and 
Corean ambassadors are feasted at the New 
Year, It is here, also, that Manchu military- 
exercises are performed, and wrestling 
^ matches are held for the amusement of the 
Emperor. 

The edifice was, therefore, not one in 
which ministers of sovereigns on an equality 
with the Emperor would naturally have been 
received. The native guide-books describe 
it as the place where " New Year receptions 
are granted to the outer tribes," and the 
choice of it was doubtless intended by the 
mandarins to be a set-off against the conces- 
sions they had made. But it was also part of 
the arrangement that the ministers should 
not give their credentials into the hands of 
the Emperor, but should deposit them on a 
table set in the hall for the purpose ; and 
that they should then be presented by Prince 
Kung to the Emperor. 

Costumes for the Occasion. 

On the day appointed (June 29) the min- 
isters were early astir, as the Emperor had 
fixed the audience at the very inconvenient 
hour of between six and seven in the morn- 
ing. The place of audience being close to 
the Roman Catholic cathedral and mission 
house, the five representatives of Western 
powers — England, France, America, Russia 
and the Netherlands — met there to attire 
themselves in costumes befitting the august 
occasion. Thence they were escorted to the 
Shih-ying Kung, where confectionery, tea 
and Chinese wine from the Emperor's but- 
tery were offered them. 

Here they were kept waiting for more 
than an hour, and were then led to a tent 
pitched on the west side of the pavilion of 
audience. They might have reasonably 
hoped that this move meant the immediate 



arrival of the Emperor. But, if this was 
their expectation, they were disappointed, 
and it was only after a further delay of at 
least an hour and a half that the representa- 
tive of Japan, who, being an ambassador, 
was introduced separately, was summoned to 
the Imperial presence. 

The five European representatives were 
next introduced, and were led by a door on 
the west side of the pavilion into the central 
aisle of the hall. As they faced the north- 
ern end, where the Emperor was seated on 
his throne, they bowed in concert. They 
then " advanced a few paces and bowed 
again, then advanced a few paces further, 
bowing again, and halted before a long 
yellow table about halfway up the hall." 

How they were Seated. 

The Emperor, who was surrounded by 
his advisers and courtiers, was, it was ob- 
served, seated cross-legged according to the 
Manchu custom. When all had taken up 
their appointed positions, the minister of 
Russia, as doyen of the corps, read aloud 
an address in French, which was made 
intelligible to the Emperor by an interpreter, 
who delivered a version in Chinese for his 
benefit. 

Says Sir Thomas Wade : " As soon as 
the address was delivered we laid our letters 
of credence upon the table. The Emperor 
made a slight bow of acknowledgment, and 
the Prince of Kung, falling upon both knees 
at the foot of the throne, his majesty appeared 
to speak to him — I say appeared, because no 
sound reached my ears. We had been told, 
however, that the Emperor would speak in 
Manchu, and that the prince would interpret. 
Accordingly, as soon as his highness rose, 
he descended the steps, and informed us that 
his majesty declared that the letters of cre- 
dence had been received. 



VARIETIES OF CHINESE LIFE. 



233 



"Then, returning to his place, he again fell 
upon his knees, and the Emperor, having 
again spoken to him in a low tone, he again 
descended the steps, and, coming up to us, 
informed us that his majesty' trusted that our 
respective rulers were in good health, and 
expressed a hope that foreign affairs might 
all be satisfactorily arranged between the 
foreign ministers and the Emperor, This 
closed the audience, which may have lasted 
a little more than five minutes. We than all 
withdrew in the usual fashion, moving back- 
ward and bowing." 

Departure From Precedent. 

Sir Thomas Wade, and probably the other 
ministers, recognized that this reception con- 
stituted a marked departure from precedent, 
although they were fully alive to the short- 
comings it manifested. To begin with, the 
Imperial decree granting the audience was 
worded in a dictatorial tone, which was, to 
say the least, discourteous. " The Tsungli 
Yamun " (answering nearly to our Cabinet at 
Washington), so runs this document, " hav- 
ing presented a memorial to the effect that 
the foreign ministers residing in Pekin have 
implored us to grant an audience that they 
may deliver letters from their Governments, 
we command that the foreign ministers resi- 
ding in Pekin, who have brought letters from 
their Governments, be accorded audience. 
Respect this." 

The long periods of waiting in the Shih- 
ying Kung, and afterwards in the tent, were 
doubtless intended to mark the condescension 
of the Emperor in granting the audience, 
and, together with the ver>- perfunctory cere- 
mony in the hall, were indications which 
forbade the cherishing of any high hopes as 
to the effects likely to be produced by the 
reception. With a self-complacency w'hich 
almost amounted to an impertinence, a 



Chinese statesman informed one of the 
foreign ministers after the audience that the 
princes who waited on the Emperor had 
been surprised and pleased at the demeanor 
of himself and his colleagues. 

Such a remark illustrates the supercilious 
contempt with which the Chinese dignitaries 
regard foreigners generally, and emphasizes 
an ignorance which would be remarkable 
considering that the foreign legations had 
then been established in Pekin for twelve 
years, if we did not know how entirely the 
courtiers hold themselves aloof from the for- 
eign ministers. 

It had been proposed that an annual 
reception should be given to the foreign 
plenipotentiaries, but the sudden death of 
the Emperor from small-pox put an end to 
this scheme. Another long minority suc- 
ceeded, and it was not until the assumption 
of the ruling power, by the present Emperor, 
in 1 89 1, that a reception was again held. 
The decree published in the Pekiyi Gazette 
announcing this event was laconic, but at 
least had the advantage over that published 
on the previous occasion, in that the deroga- 
tory expressions therein used were omitted. 

Request for an Audience. 

The decree was dated March 4, and ran 
thus: "At 11.30 to-morrow the Emperor 
^\'ill receiv^e in audience at the Tzu-Kuangr 
Ko all the nations." The ceremony on this 
occasion was almost identical with that which 
took place in 1873. The intervening eigh- 
teen years had not taught the Chinese any- 
thing as regards foreigners, and their attitude 
then and now was and is as ante-foreign as 
ever it has been. 

On his arrival at Pekin in 1893, Mr. 
O'Conor requested an audience, which was 
granted him with a change of venue. Instead 
of the Tzu-Kuang Ko, the Chen^^-Kuang 



234 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Tien, a temple which stands outside the 
palace enclosure, was chosen for the cere- 
mony. Here again the same forms were 
followed, and the event was as barren of 
results as were those of 1873 and 1891. 

So matters stand at present, and the ques- 
tion suggests itself, " Of what use have these 
audiences been ? " In civilized countries the 
reception of a minister by the sovereign to 
whose court he is accredited is a testimony 
of the friendship of that monarch towards 
his royal master. It also facilitates negotia- 
tions between the two countries. It serves, 
therefore, a substantially useful purpose. 

In China, however, neither of these ends 
can possibly be attained by such receptions 
as those accorded to the foreign ministers. 
The Emperor, so far as it is possible to 
judge, is in the hands of his advisers, who, 
as Sir Thomas Wade told us some years ago, 
are as bitterly anti-foreign as ever, and in 
whose word, the foreign ministers solemnly 
declared, in 1 891, that "no faith could be 
put." 

As to facilitating negotiations between 



China and foreign countries, the wildest en- 
thusiasts could not hope for any such result. 
It may be said that this is but the beginning 
of things, and that we have no right to ex- 
pect any great and rapid change in the atti- 
tude of the Chinese court towards us. This 
would be plausible if in the thirty years dur- 
ing which the legations have been established 
in Pekin there has been shown any advance 
of friendliness. 

On no occasion could any such change be 
better manifested than at an Imperial recep- 
tion, but time has made no change in the 
manner in which our ministers are received; 
for it is impossible to see any sign of a pro- 
gressive movement in the exchange of the 
Cheng-Kuang Tien for the Tzu-Kuang Ko 
as an audience-chamber. 

The fact is that other nations are too much 
inclined to pursue here, as in other dealings 
with China, the cap-in-hand attitude. They 
have humbly implored, to use the Emperor's 
own words, to be admitted into the Imperial 
presence, and have reaped reward. They have 
been suppliants and have been treated as such. 



CHAPT^BR XIII. 
FOOD, DRESS AND AMUSEMENTS OF THE CHINESE. 



IT is probable that in the congested dis- 
tricts of Southern China the population 
is more dense than in any other coun- 
try, and the struggle for existence is 
proportionately severe. If it were not for 
the small wants and meagre diet of China- 
men, such swarms of human beings as are to 
be seen in Canton, for example, where, the i 
land being unable to contain the inhabitants, 
the streets may be said to have been carried 
on to the surface of the river, could not exist. 
Two bowls of rice with scraps of vegetables 
or pieces of fish added, suffice for the daily 
food of countless thousands of the people. 
With all classes rice and vegetables form the 
staple food, as we find illustrated by the fact 
that the native equivalents of these words are 
used to express food generally. In his invi- 
tation to partake of the most sumptuous 
viands the host will ask his guest " to eat 
rice," and a servant announcing a feast will 
proclaim that "the vegetables are served." 

To the production of grain and vegetables 
every available scrap of land and all the 
energies of the people are devoted. There 
is probably not an acre of meadow land in 
China. Flocks of sheep and herds of cattle 
are, therefore, unknown ; and the beasts 
which are reared on the sides of the hills, 
and with artificial food, are so few in number 
that the flesh is obtainable only by the 
wealthiest of those who are freed from the 
Buddhistic belief in the transmigration of 
souls. Pigs, fowls, ducks, and fish are more 
cheaply obtained, and it is probable that pork 
forms quite half the meat which is eaten 



Ducks are reared in enormous quantities, the 
eggs as well as those of fowls being for the 
most part hatched by artificial heat. 

There being no ownership in rivers, the 
fishing industry is carried on without let or 
hindrance. By net, by line, by the clever 
use of light to attract, and of noise to 
frighten, the fish are captured from the 
streams and supply a cheap and most useful 
article of food. Every kind of living creature 
which moves in the waters is eaten, and even 
water snakes form a common article of food. 
These, with eels, carp, and tench, are, when 
caught, commonly kept in tanks, where they 
are carefully fed, and are sold as required. 
Most of the fishing-boats have tanks in which 
the captured fish are kept alive, and though 
the flesh suffers from the artificial food and 
surroundings, the prudent economy of the 
system recommends it to the frugal minds 
of the natives. 

Disgusting Articles of Food 

These, then, with rice at their head, are 
the staples of life. But the same poverty 
which induces Chinese parents to murder 
their female infants prompts them occasion- 
ally to take advantage of less savory viands 
to satisfy their hunger. It is an undoubted 
fact that rats, dogs, and horseflesh are sold 
in Canton and elsewhere. The passing trav- 
eller may see dried rats hung up in poulterers* 
shops, and a little investigation will prove 
indisputably to him that horseflesh, even 
when the animal has met its death in another 
way than at the butcher's shambles, is greed- 

235 



236 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



ily devoured. Necessity sometimes supplies 
strange articles of diet. 

It is an unquestionable fact that China- 
men will eat, and apparently without any ill 
effects, meat which would poison English- 
men and Americans, The flesh of horses 
which have died of glanders, and of other 
animals which have succumbed to diseases 
of all sorts, are eaten by the beggars and 
other poverty-stricken people, who infest the 
streets of all large cities. A superstition 
also attaches to the flesh of dogs and cats, 
especially black ones. It is considered emi- 
nently nutritious, and is recommended by 
the doctors as a wholesome and invigorating 
diet in the summer season, as well as a gen- 
eral preventative against disease. 

Strange Remedy for Baldness. 

The same high authorities prescribe a 
course of rat's flesh for people incUned to 
baldness. The late Archdeacon Gray, who 
probably knew Canton better than any living 
foreigner, in speaking, in his work on China, 
of a cat and dog restaurant, says: "The 
flesh is cut into small pieces and fried with 
water chestnuts and garlic in oil. In the 
window of the restaurant dogs' carcases are 
suspended for the purpose, I suppose, of at- 
tracting the attention of passers by. Pla- 
cards are sometimes placed above the door, 
setting forth that the flesh of black dogs and 
cats can be served up at a moment's notice ; " 
and then he proceeds to give a translation 
of a bill of fare such as hangs on the walls 
of the dining-rooms. 

The supposed medicinal properties of these 
horrible articles of food no doubt prompt 
many people to partake of them. In the 
northern cities of the Empire it is usual in 
the autumn to see men selling locusts fried 
in oil at the corners of streets, much as peo- 
ple offer roasted chestnuts for sale in our 



own thoroughfares. The locusts so dealt 
with are regarded as a luxury, and are con- 
sidered to be more nutritive and better fla- 
vored if they are thrown into the boiling oil 
alive. But whatever the food may be, other 
than grain, it is cut up into small pieces to 
suit the requirements of the chopsticks, 
which are invariably used to transfer the food 
from the plate to the mouth. 

Onions and Garlic. 

Knives and forks are unknown for this 
purpose, and the two sticks, which to for- 
eigners are such stumbling-blocks at native 
dinners, furnish all that a Chinaman wants 
with which to supply himself with even the 
most oleaginous food. The presence of ex- 
cessive quantities of oil and fat in Chinese 
cooking is to Europeans its great offence, 
and the large admixture of onions and garlic 
adds another obnoxious feature to ordinary 
viands ; but, apart from these peculiarities, 
the food is always well cooked, and authori- 
ties affirm that it is eminently digestible. 

The following Chinese dishes, taken from 
the menu of the dinner which was given by 
the Chinese of Hong Kong to the Duke of 
Connaught, give a good idea of the sort of 
fare which a Chinese host presents to his 
guests on state occasions : 

"Birds'-nest soup. Stewed shell-fish. 
Cassia mushrooms. Crab and sharks' fins. 
' Promotion ' (boiled quail, etc.). Fried ma- 
rine delicacies. Fish gills. SHced teal. 
Pekin mushrooms. Beches-de-mer. Sliced 
pigeon. Macaroni." 

The mention of some of these dishes is 
enough to explain why it is that foreigners 
come away hungry from a Chinese dinner- 
party; nor are their appetites encouraged by 
the fact that the feasters, in the enjoyment of 
the good things provided, generally find it 
necessary to discard some of their clothing 



FOOD, DRESS AND AMUSEMENTS. 



237 



to adjust their heightened temperatures. 
Their system of dress is admirably adapted 
for this kind of emergency. Like their food 
it possesses some admirable qualities, some 
doubtful ones, and others which are repul- 
sive. Its general character is looseness ; 
nothing fits tightly to the person, and com- 
plete freedom is thereby secured to the limbs. 

Hurried by Them. 

It is a canon of Chinese art that the out- 
line of the human frame should nev'er be 
more than dimly indicated. For this reason 
a sculpture gallery is abhorrent to them, as 
was amusingly shown on the occasion of a 
visit paid to the British Museum by the first 
Chinese Minister at the Court of St. James. 
At the first sight of the beautiful objects in 
the Greek and Roman galleries he looked 
around him in bewilderment, and then, real- 
izing the situation, hurried by them with 
significant haste, looking neither to his right 
hand nor to his left. 

On this principle the dress of all China- 
men partakes of the nature of robes, which 
reach from the neck to the ankles — conceal- 
ing loose vests, and trousers which among 
the better classes are encased in gaiters of 
materials suited to their conditions. Above 
the upper part of the robe there is com- 
monly worn a jacket made of stuffs accord- 
ing to the season, silks in summer, and 
wadded cotton or fur in the winter months. 
The dresses of the mandarins and their 
wives are, as has been already stated, strictly 
regulated by sumptuary laws. 

Since the rise of the Manchus to power, 
the buttons on the caps have been added to 
distinguish the various grades in the official 
hierarchy. The first to institute this system 
was Tsungte, the immediate predecessor of 
Shunchi, the first Emperor of the present 
Manchu line, who reigned in Manchuria 



from 1636 to 1644. At his command every 
official was obliged to wear a gold button on 
his cap to distinguish him from the common 
h^rd. By degrees further distinctions were 
introduced. To a high official was assigned 
a gold button set in pearls, while to a gen- 
eral was given one surronnded with precious 
stones. From this beginning the present 
system arose. 

Another and a far greater innovation than 
this was introduced by the Manchu invaders. 
As a badge of conquest, they compelled the 
whole male population to shave the front 
part of the head and to wear the queue, 
which now distinguishes the Chinese from 
the rest of mankind. The manner in which 
this badge was adopted, and the tenacity 
with which it is now adhered to, are worthy 
of note as illustrating the character of the 
people. 

Fond of His Cue. 

At first it \\-as fiercely resisted, even unto 
death. The vanquished every^v•here took up 
arms against it, and it was only by violence 
varied with cajolery that the Manchus were 
eventually able to compel its adoption. 
When once it was accepted, however, it 
came to be regarded with the greatest affec- 
tion, and no greater indignity can be inflicted 
on a loyal Chinaman of the present day than 
to cut off" the queue, against the adoption ot 
which his ancestors fought so strenuously. 

But with the Taepings and other rebels 
the disappearance of the queue, and the 
growth of the hair on the head, have been 
accepted as Jbadges of antagonism to the 
present dynast}', and the discovery in a dis- 
affected district of a man with these distin- 
guishing marks secures him but a short 
shrift before he is called upon to expiate his 
disloyalty on the execution ground. But to 
return to the dress of the officials. The cap 



238 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



varies in shape and material according to the 
season. In summer it consists of a round 
cone made of fine straw or bamboo, and is 
covered with a tassel of red silken cords 
which radiate from the apex. In winter it 
is turned up at the brim, and is covered with 
dark satin, over which falls in the same way 
a similar tassel. 

The button is fixed in a gold setting above 



irrespective of the condition of the theremo- 
meter. 

The wives of mandarins render their offi- 
cial attire as splendid as rich silks, gay colors, 
and bright embroideries can make them. In 
shape they are identical with those worn by 
women of every degree in the Empire, and 
consist of a loose tunic reaching to the 
knees, which buttons at the neck and under 




MERCHANTS CLUB AT SHANGHAI. 



the tassel at the centre of the crown. The 
changes of uniform at the summer and win- 
ter seasons are carefully regulated by law, 
and, in obedience to Imperial edicts, pub- 
lished as the periods approach, every man- 
darin, from the great wall on the north to 
the boundaries on Tonquin on the south, 
makes his official change of attire on the 
days exactly specified by the Emperor, quite 



the right arm. A pair of trousers drawn in 
at the ankle completes the attire on ordinary 
occasions, but on high days and holidays an 
embroidered petticoat, \\hich hangs square 
both before and behind, is worn by ladies. 

The hair is always carefully dressed and 
gayly adorned, but in ways and fashions 
which differ in every part of the Empire. 
Flowers, both natural and artificial, are 



FOOD, DRESS AND AMUSEMENTS. 



239 



largely used as ornaments to the head, and 
richly chased and jewelled hairpins are added 
to give taste to the coiffure. These last are 
often of considerable value, and are com- 
monly presents either from parents or hus- 
bands. They not unfrequently form the 
principal part of the propertj' belonging to 
the owners, and in cases of emergency they 
are the first things resorted to for the pur- 
pose of raising money. They are sometimes 
given also by their fair owners to friends as 
tokens of regard, and in many plays and 
novels their disappearance from the heads of 
wives is made to arouse the same suspicions 
in the minds of the ladies' husbands as the 
loss of Desdemona's handkerchief did in the 
poisoned brain of Othello. 

Diminutive Feet. 

The striking feature, however, in the 
women's appearance and gait is their mis- 
shapen feet. In most lands the desire is to 
give freedom of movement, but an absurd 
fashion, backed by the weight of centuries, 
has crippled and disabled countless genera- 
tions of the women in China. No sufficient 
explanation has ever been given of the origin 
of this very unnatural custom, which is all 
the more objectionable as Chinawomen, 
speaking generally, are gifted with finely 
shaped hands and feet. 

The saying of a French lady that one 
must suffer to be beautiful is certainly true — 
accepting the Chinese estimate of the fashion 
— in the case of the poor ladies of China. 
The size and shape of the foot which fashion 
requires are only to be attained by a disloca- 
tion which causes great pain in the first 
instance, and often permanent suffering. At 
an early age, generally when the child is 
about four or five, the process begins by the 
feet being bound tightly round in the re- 
quired shape. The four smaller toes are 



bent under the foot, the big toe is some- 
times brought backwards on the top of the 
foot, and the instep is forced upwards and 
backwards. In this way the foot is clubbed 
and is forced into a shoe from about three 
to four inches long. 

A Fashion that Inflicts Pain. 

The little victims of this cruel fashion 
unquestionably suffer great pain in the early 
stages, but as a rule the skin, which at first 
is dreadfully abrased, becomes gradually 
hardened, and as those whose feet are 
squeezed into shoes of the size mentioned 
are ladies who are not required to move 
about much, their feet probably answer all 
the purposes expected of them. 

This is not saying much. A lady scarcely 
walks at all. If she goes out she is either 
carried in a sedan-chair, or, in the north of 
the countr)-, in a carriage. Within doors 
she either hobbles about, leaning on a stick 
or on the shoulder of a waiting-maid, or is 
carried on the back of a servant. It is 
obvious that this extreme compression would 
render women of the poorer classes quite 
unfitted to fulfil their necessary avocations, 
and with them therefore the feet are allowed 
greater scope. 

The custom is entirely confined to the 
Chinese ; the Manchu conquerors having 
never submitted their own women to the tor- 
ture and discomfort of the practice, neither, 
also, have the boat populations thought it 
necessar}'' to deform themselves for the sake 
of fashion. It is even said that in the neigh- 
borhood of Ningpo a movement is on foot 
among the Christian population to abolish 
this fetish of fashion, but it is doubtful 
whether its promotion by converts from the 
national religion will do much to advance 
even so rational an object. 

In their desire to make beautiful what is 



240 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



naturally so ugly, the women delight to 
adorn the shoes with rich and bright 
embroidery ; and fortunately for them the 
swaying gait which the fashion compels them 
to assume in walking has come to be re- 
garded as a winsome beauty. Poets are 
never tired of describing in verse the leaf- 
shaped eyebrows, the willow waists, and the 
swaying movements of Chinese ladies, which 
they liken to boughs gently waving in the 
wind. 

It is well that it is possible to find some- 
thing to say in favor of the cruel custom of 
crippling the feet of the women, and cynic- 
ally minded Chinamen add to their approval 
of the grace which it imparts to the step, 
their appreciation of the fact that it prevents 
ladies from gadding about. This it certainly 
does, and even the exercise which they are 
tempted to take in their gardens is confined 
.«!: very limited excursions. 

Beautiful Flowers and Gardens. 

The love of flowers seems to be inherent 
in the people of the extreme East, and their 
gardens are to both the men and women of 
China a never-failing delight. With much 
taste they lay out the ground and dispose 
the flowers to the best possible advantage. 
'As landscape gardeners they are unsurpassed, 
and succeed by skilful arrangement in giving 
an impression of extent and beauty to even 
paltry and naturally uninteresting pieces of 
ground. By clever groupings of rock -work, 
by raising artificial hills, and by throwing 
high bridges over ponds and streams, they 
produce a panorama which is full of fresh 
points of view and of constant surprises. 

As De Guignes wrote, in describing 
Chinese gardens, the object of the owner is 
to imitate " the beauties and to produce the 
inequalities of nature. Instead of alleys 
planted symmetrically or uniform grounds, 



there are winding footpaths, trees here and 
there as if by chance, woody or sterile hill- 
ocks, and deep gullies with narrow passages, 
whose sides are steep or rough with rocks, 
and presenting only a few n.iserable shrubs. 
They like to bring together in gardening, in 
the sarhe view, cultivated grounds and arid 
plains ; to make the field uneven and cover 
it, with artificial rock-work ; to dig caverns 
in mountains, on whose tops are arbors half 
overthrown and around which tortuous foot- 
paths run and return into themselves, pro- 
longing, as it were, the extent of the grounds 
and increasing the pleasure of the walk." 

Profusion of Blossoms. 

In the more purely floral parterres, the 
plants are arranged so as to secure brilliancy 
of bloom with harmony of color. Over the 
greater part of China the land is favored 
with so fertile a soil and so congenial a 
climate that flowers grow and blossom with 
prodigal profusion. Roses, hydrangeas, peo- 
nies, azaleas and a host of other plants 
beautify the ground, while creepers of every 
hue and clinging growth hang from the 
boughs of the trees and from the eaves of 
the summer-houses and pavilions which are 
scattered over the grounds. 

With the instinctive love of flowers which 
belongs to Chinamen, the appearance of the 
blooms on the more conspicuous flowering 
shrubs is eagerly watched for. Floral calen- 
dars are found in every house above the 
poorest, and expeditions are constantly made 
into the country districts to enjoy the sight 
of the first bursting into blossom of fa- 
vorite flowers. The presence of ponds gives 
a sense of coolness to the pleasure-grounds, 
and the white and pink water-lilies which 
adorn their surface furnish excuses to revel- 
lers for holding endless wine-feasts on their 
margins. 



FOOD, DRESS AND AMUSEMENTS. 



241 



In the literature frequent references are 
made to such entertainments, and numerous 
volumes have been carefully compiled of the 
more highly esteemed poems made on such 
occasions in praise of the camellia, apricot, 
peach, chrysanthemum, hibiscus and an 
endless array of other flowers by the minor 
poets of the country. 

The manner and convenience of travel 
supply a faithful index of the stage of civil- 
ization to which the people of a country 
have arrived, and in the conveyances in 
vogue in China we see repeated the strange 
contradictions which have met us as we have 
glanced at each feature of Chinese societ^^ 
In every case there is much to be admired ; 
but in every case what is good and excellent 
is marred by some defacing or neutralizing 
quality. 

Discomforts of Travelling. 

Just as the outward appearance of their 
furniture is spoiled by the exquisite discom- 
fort of their chairs and divans ; and their 
stately ceremonies, by dirt and squalor ; so 
their means of travelling, which in some 
ways are luxurious, are discredited by the 
discomfort of the carts, the mud and ruts of 
the roads, and the miserable condition of the 
inns. With us the question of pace enters 
largely into our ideas of travelling, but in 
the leisurely East, where hurry is unknown, 
the speed wth which a journey can be made 
is not of the slightest consequence. 

We have an excellent illustration of this 
on the waters of the Yang-tsze Kiang. 
Steamers go up the river to Ichang, a dis- 
tance of fifteen hundred miles from the 
mouth. For four hundred miles above 
that point there are a succession of rapids, 
to ascend which, in a native boat at certain 
seasons of the year, occupies six or seven 
weeks, or just about the length of time 
16 



it takes a fast steamer to make its way from 
Ichang to London. It has been shown 
to the Chinese how it would be possible to 
remove the greater part of the obstacles 
which make the voyage so difficult, and 
how, when this is done, steamers might 
readily continue their way up the river. 

But nothing will induce the Government, 
the local officials, or the merchants inter- 
ested, to support the scheme, and all delib- 
erately prefer to put up with the delay, dan- 
gers and frequent losses incurred under the 
present system to encouraging an enterprise 
which would save four-fifths of the time em- 
ployed, and would reduce the peril and loss 
to a minimum. 

The particular kinds of conveyance used 
in China vary with the nature of the coun- 
try. In the north, where the huge delta 
plain and immense table-lands from the sur- 
face, carts are commonly used, and these 
again furnish an instance of the mixed 
nature of Chinese civilization. They are 
made on two wheels, \\-ithout springs and 
without seats. 

Chinese Carts. 
As has been said, the Chinese have no 
idea of comfort as we understand the word, 
and these vehicles are a complete justifica- 
tion of the statement. To an American 
they are the acme of misery. The occupant 
seats himself on the floor of the cart, and is 
thrown hither and thither as the ruts may 
determine and the skill of the driver may 
permit. The novice, when going to sea, is 
commonly advised to attempt to avoid the 
inevitable fate which awaits him by allowing 
his body to sway with the movements of the 
vessel, and in the same way those who drive 
in Chinese carts are recommended to yield 
their persons to the strange bumps and 
rockings of the springless vehicles, but, so 



242 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



far as the experience of the present writer 
goes, no better result follows in this than in 
the other case. 

It is remarkable that, though carts have 
been in use for thirty or more centuries, the 
Chinese have made no attempt to improve 
their very rough construction. Springs are 
unknown and the only method occasionally 
adopted to mitigate the horrors of driving is 
that of placing the axles and wheels behind 
the body of the cart, and at the rear ex- 
tremity of the beams of wood which consti- 
tute the support of the vehicle, and when 
produced in front form the shafts. 

No Provision for the Driver. 

In this way the cart is swung between the 
animal drawing it and the axle. No seat is 
provided for the driver, who commonly takes 
possession of the off shaft, and seriously in- 
terferes with the ventilation available for the 
passenger by almost entirely blocking up the 
only opening which serves both as door and 
window. Carts of the ordinary kind stand 
for hire in the streets of Pekin and of other 
northern cities, and are constantly employed 
as far south as the banks of the Yang-tsze- 
Kiang. 

For carrying purposes large wagons are 
used which are commonly drawn by seven 
animals, a pony being in the shafts and the 
rest being arranged three abreast in front. 
Such conveyances when loaded travel from 
fifty to eighty Chinese miles a day, or from 
about sixteen to twenty-six English miles. 
In the neighborhood of Newchwang an im- 
mense traffic is carried on by means of these 
vehicles, and during the busiest two months 
of the year it is reckoned that upwards of 
thirty thousand carts, drawn by more than 
two hundred thousand animals, pass between 
the inland districts and the port, bringing the 
native products to the wharves of New- 



chwang, and carrying back the cotton cloths 
and hardware which are brought from the 
despised lands of the " barbarians." 

Sedan-chairs and horseback are also usual 
means of travelling, and in the southern half 
of the Empire these modes of locomotion 
are alone employed on terra jirma, the roads 
being too narrow to allow of the passage of 
anything on wheels. 

But in this part, as all over the Empire, 
the many rivers and canals which fertilize 
the land and add beauty to its features, are 
the favorite highways of travel and com- 
merce. The better class of passenger vessels 
are large and commodious, and contain all 
the conveniences to which Chinamen are 
accustomed in their own homes. They are 
commonly from sixty to eighty feet long, 
and are divided into three rooms. 

Sails and Oars. 

The principal apartment, which occupies 
about half the boat, is approached in front 
through a vestibule, and is connected with 
the bedroom which separates it from the 
stern. The fore part of the boat is decked 
over with movable planks, and affords dark 
and airless cabin accommodation for the crew. 
The vessels are supplied with masts on which, 
when the wind is favorable, sails are hoisted. 
Under less fortunate conditions oars and tack- 
ing are used to propel them. From this kind 
of vessel to the merest sampan, the waters of 
China furnish every variety of boats. 

There is one other means of locomotion 
which remains to be mentioned, and that is 
one which has attracted more attention than 
perhaps it deserves. We refer to the wheel- 
barrow, of which Milton wrote : 

"Sericana, where Chinese drive, 
With sail and wind their cany wagons light." 

The Chinese are intensely poor, and as 
the possession of a horse and cart is far be- 



FOOD, DRESS AND AMUSEMENTS. 



243 



yond the means of the vast majority, wheel- 
barrows are very commonly used to carry 
goods and passengers. To lighten the task 
of the porter the wheels are placed in the 
centre of the barrow, and thus directly bear 
the weight of the burden. 

But this arrangement naturally reduces 
the space available for use, since the load, 
whether living or dead, has to be placed 
on the two sides of the wheel, from which 
it is protected by a casing. On the northern 
plains, if the wind should be aft, a sail is 
very commonly hoisted, in which case consid- 
eiable distances can be traversed in the day. 

Wretched Chinese Inns. 

In Western lands the prospect of his inn 
at the end of a journey cheers the traveller. 
No such consolation is afforded to wayfarers, 
or at least to foreign wayfarers, in China. 
The exchange from horseback, or from the 
racking of a native cart, to an inn is not 
much to the advantage of the last. No com- 
fort is provided, no privacy is secured, and 
no quiet is obtained. The rooms are mean 
and infinitely dirtj'', and, in the north, sur- 
round the courtyard, which serv^es as the 
stables for the mules, ponies, and donkeys of 
the travellers. It is not uncommon to see 
as many as fifty donkeys in one inn yard, 
and the pandemonium which they occasion 
at night can be but faintly imagined. 

The poetical description of a room at an 
inn in Szechuan, which a traveller found 
scratched on the wall of this apartment, 
aptly supplements the above. The original, 
which was in Chinese verse, is rendered as 
follows : 

" Within this room you'll find the rats. 

At least a goodly store, 
Three catties each they are bound to weigh. 

Or e'en a little more ; 
At night you'll find a myriad bugs. 

Tbat sting and crawl and bite ; 



If doubtful of the truth of this. 
Get up, and strike a light." 

So much has been said of the dark side of 
Chinese life, that it is a pleasure to turn to 
those amusements which break the dreary 
monotony of existence. The great body of 
the people are hard workers, and, being so, 
find, like all other laboriously employed 
people, that amusements are necessary to life 
and health. From another motive the idle 
classes — that is, the literati, as they are 
called, or the unemployed graduates, and the 
ladies — find that to kill time they must seek 
excitement in some form of diversion. 

For these reasons the theatres are gener- 
ally well filled by all sorts and conditions of 
men, and no opportunity is missed of engag- 
ing a company for the entertainment of the 
neighborhood. As such opportunities are 
prompted by many and different motives, 
actors are in constant request. Not un- 
frequently the excuse is a desire to do honor 
to the local deities. 

Offerings to the Snake God. 
Either a fall of rain after a prolonged 
drought makes a Thespian display an appro- 
priate token of gratitude to the snake god, 
or the elfin fox deity is held to regard a like 
festivity as a due acknowledgment for his 
clemency in dispersing an epidemic ; but, 
whatever the religious objects may be, 
arrangements are commonly made to hold 
the performance in the courtyard of one of 
the temples. For the expenses the whole 
village or town is responsible, and so soon 
as the required sum, from twent}' to a hun- 
dred dollars a day, is raised — a matter which 
generally gives rise to countless bickerings 
— a troupe of actors is engaged, and the ves- 
tibule of a local temple is made to undergo 
the metamorphosis necessary to the occa- 
sion. 



244 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



The very simple requirements of the 
Chinese stage make this a matter of easy- 
arrangement. There is practically no scen- 
ery in a Chinese theatre. A few coarsely 
painted views hung at the back of the stage 
are all that is necessary to furnish it. The 
actors make their exits and entrances by 
a door at the side of these paintings, and the 
whole series of plays — for the performances 
go on for days together — are acted without 



which it is considered necessary for the audi- 
ence to understand. Commonly, however, 
he prefaces these confidences by repeating a 
few lines of poetry, which are supposed to 
indicate the general tenor of the very com- 
plete explanation which is to follow. As 
each player treads the boards this formula is 
gone through. 

Fortunatety the characters are not numer- 
ous, and, as a rule, consist of the heavy 




INTERIOR OF A CHINESE THEATRE. 



any change of scenery. This has at first 
sight the advantage of simplicity, but it 
imposes on the characters the inconvenient 
necessity of explaining their individualities, 
and of describing their whereabouts. 

To us an awkward spectacle is presented 
when an actor comes forward and begins, 
" I am So-and-so, the son of Such-an-one," 
and then goes on to describe his trade, the 
members of his household, and everything 



father and mother, a young lady of the nature 
of a heroine, a young man or two, a sprink- 
ling of statesmen and courtiers in case the 
play is historical, with servants and attend- 
ants. For the most part the plots are quite 
straightforward, and no mystery is ever pre- 
sented to tax the intelligence of the audience. 
With typical Chinese minuteness the mo- 
tives, desires, and actions of the characters 
are fully explained, and the only people who 



FOOD, DRESS AND AMUSEMENTS. 



245 



are supposed to be mystified are either the 
personages in the play who are wronged, or 
the mandarins who are called upon to ad- 
judicate on the crimes committed by the vil- 
lains of the dramas. In all cases the action 
is direct, and is unhampered with any of 
those issues which add so much to the inter- 
est of Western performances. 

Contemptible Characters. 

In a vast majority of cases the object of 
the play is to elevate virtue, and to hold up 
tyranny and wrong to just execration. The 
means adopted to these ends are not always 
such as to commend them in our eyes. The 
dialogfue is often coarse, and the virtuous 
characters are commonly contemptible crea- 
tures. It is a peculiarity which runs through 
the whole of Chinese society that the utter- 
ances of high-sounding moral sayings and 
extremely virtuous platitudes are held to be 
quite sufficient to atone for heinous moral 
delinquencies and personal pusillanimity. 

Just as in real life Imperial edicts and offi- 
cial proclamations abound with lofty senti- 
ments and righteous phrases, while every 
word is falsified by the degraded and iniqui- 
tous actions of the writers, so an Emperor 
on the stage yields to a barbarous foe with- 
out striking a blow for his country, but ac- 
companies the action with so many fine 
Avords and lofty sentiments that he covers 
himself with all the glory of a Black Prince 
at Crecy or a Henry V. on the field of Agin- 
court. 

In the same way a man breaks every com- 
mandment in the decalogue, but if he takes 
care at the same time to sprinkle his dis- 
course with well-seasoned exhortations to 
the practice of filial piety, and the exercise 
of profound reverence for Confucius, he re- 
tires from the boards purged of all his of- 
fences, if not in the full odor of sanctity. 



This Pharisaical sanctimoniousness to some 
extent runs through the farces and lighter 
pieces in which the people delight. Some of 
them are very comical, and might well be 
adapted for first pieces at our own theatres. 
In some we find incidents with which we are 
all familiar. 

For example, Desdemona's handkerchirf 
reappears in a Pekin farce, in which a jealous 
waterman finds fault with his wife for asso- 
ciating too constantly with a Buddhist priest 
— the disturbers of households are generally 
represented as priests. The lady suspects a 
friend of her husband of ha\ing instilled 
jealously into her good man's mind, and in- 
duces him to quarrel with his associate. The 
friend being determined to prove the justice 
of his suspicions, watches for the priest, and 
catches him in the act of paying a clandes- 
tine visit to the lady. 

A Mixed Play. 

In the struggle which ensues the priest 
drops a handkerchief which had been given 
him by his inamorata. His opponent seizes 
the token and presents it to the husband, 
who recognizes it as one which he had given 
to his faithless consort. With a more dis- 
cerning poetic justice than that which befell 
Desdemona, the priest and the lady in this 
case suffer an equally dire fate with that 
which overtook that unfortunate heroine. As 
seen, however, on the Chinese stage, the 
native dramas have drawbacks other than 
those mentioned above. All the female parts 
are played by young men or boys, and the 
dialogue is constantly interrupted by lines of 
poetry which are sung, as are all Chinese 
songs, in a shrill falsetto. 

The musicians, also, are seated on the 
stage, and keep up so continuous an accom- 
paniment as to make much of what the 
actors say inaudible. Not only do they ac- 



246 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



company the songs, but on the expression 
of any lofty sentiment they come down with 
a crash of their instruments to add emphasis 
to the utterance. It has been said that 
these performances are given from a desire 
to do honor to the gods : but other excuses 
are very commonly found for indulgence in 
the pastime. On high days and festivals — 
at New Year's time, often on the first and 
fifteenth of the month, and on other holi- 
days — subscriptions are raised for the pur- 
pose of engaging troupes of actors who are 
always ready at hand. 

Popular Dramas. 

As a rule, the theatres are of the Thes- 
pian kind, and, if enclosed at all, are pro- 
vided only with temporary coverings of mat, 
which are erected in a night, and can be de- 
molished in a night. In surveying the gen- 
eral tendency of Chinese plays it cannot be 
said that it is elevating in character, and this 
is so far recognized that, though the drama 
is universally popular, and is patronized by 
the Court and by the leaders of the people, 
the actors are frowned upon and are officially 
regarded as pariahs of society. 

Neither they nor their sons are allowed to 
present themselves at the competitive exam- 
inations, and the doors of official life are 
thus closed to them. Not long since a 
memorial was presented to the throne 
protesting against a certain man — the son 
of an actor — who had passed his examina- 
tion being allowed a degree. No personal 
charge was brought against the man himself 
beyond that of having concealed his origin 
before the examiners, but his descent was 
fatal to him ; his certificates were cancelled, 
and he was relegated to the outcast class 
from which he had sprung. 

As a substitute for regular plays marion- 
ettes are very common, and are so manipu- 



lated as to express action with great clever- 
ness. Figures of a smaller kind are simil- 
arly exhibited in peep-shows, which are fre- 
quently to be met with at street corners, and 
on the open spaces in front of the temples. 
As conjurers and acrobats the Chinese are 
very proficient, and often manage to intro- 
duce an amount of acting into their tricks 
which adds greatly to the effect produced. 

On one occasion the present writer wit- 
nessed the performance of a conjurer, who, 
with the help of a little boy, was showing 
off his skill in the Consular compound at 
Tientsin. The man made a cabbage to 
grow from a seed which he planted in the 
presence of his audience, he swallowed a 
sword, and, after doing a number of similar 
tricks, he inquired whether he should cut off 
his assistant's head. The answer being in 
the affirmative, the man turned to seize his 
victim, who, however, had fled on hearing 
the inhuman assent to his decapitation. 

"The Blood Spurted." 

After a keen and long pursuit he was, 
however, caught, and was led, struggling and 
weeping, to the block, to Avhich he was pin- 
ioned. The conjurer then handed round his 
weapon that the keenness of the edge might 
be tested, and having taken up his position 
dealt what seemed to be a fierce blow on the 
bare neck of the boy, at which, what ap- 
peared to be blood spurted out in all direc- 
tions, and at the same instant that he drew 
a cloth over the quivering form he held aloft 
a dummy head, which bore just sufficient re- 
semblance to the features of the lad to favor 
the illusion that he had, indeed, been but- 
chered to make a holiday. 

In the more occult arts of necromancy 
and enchantment Taoist priests are the ac- 
knowledged masters. From time immemo- 
rial these followers of Laotzu have, in popu- 



FOOD, DRESS AND AMUSEMENTS. 



247 



lar belief, possessed the power of controlling i 
the elements, of annihilating space and of ' 
making themselves invisible. In one well- i 
known historical battle a Taoist priest in- 
voked such a storm of rain and hail in the 
face of the opposing forces that they fell 
easy victims to the swords of their adver- 
saries. 

Story of Empty Oranges. 

On another accepted occasion it is said 
that as a troop of coolies were carrying 
oranges to the capital, they were overtaken 
by a lame Taoist priest, who offered to ease 
them of their burdens, and who carried the 
whole quantity with the greatest ease for the 
rest of the journey. On arrival at the palace, 
however, the fruit were found to be hollow, 
and the coolies were only saved from con- 
dign punishment by the appearance of the 
priest, at whose word the oranges were again 
converted into rich and luscious fruit. 

Another well-known instance of super- 
natural power is that attributed to Tieh 
Kwai, who possessed the power of projecting 
himself wheresoever he would. On one 
occasion the magician sent forth his inner 
self to the mountain of the gods. Before 
starting on his spiritual journey he left a 
disciple to watch over his body, promising to 
return in seven days. Unfortunately, when 
six days had expired the watcher was called 
away to the dfath-bed of his mother, and 
being thus placed in a dilemma bet^veen his 
duties as a son, and his obligation to his 
friend, determined to carry the body of his 
master to his mother's home. 

Being there detained, he was unable to 
keep his tryst at the appointed time, and the 
disembodied spirit, finding that its earthly 
habitation had disappeared, was compelled, 
rather than suffer extinction, to enter the 
carcase of a beggar which lay by the road- 



side, and in this guise Tieh Kwai passed the 
remainder of his existence. 

Clairvoyance is largely practiced, and on 
the principle that accumulated evidence 
proves the truth of a theory, it is difficult 
not to accept many of" the facts " stated by 
native eye-witnesses. Like our own pro- 
fessors of the art Chinese clairvoyants read 
the secret thoughts of their audiences, de- 
scribe absent persons with minute accuracy, 
and by "crystal-gazing," and other means, 
are often said to be instrumental in detecting 
criminals, and in discovering the whereabouts 
of lost persons and things. The use of the 
planchette is very common, and though the 
Chinese, from their phlegmatic nature, are 
not easily subjected to magnetic influences, 
the effects produced are certainly remarkable. 

Expert G)annasts. 

As gymnasts they are in no way inferior 
to the best performers among ourselves, and 
it is not necessary to believe the wonderful 
stories told by early European travellers in 
China of the proficiency of native acrobats to 
credit them with noteworthy skill and agilit}'. 
Even women possess unw^onted power of 
strength and balance. 

But, above and beyond all the other 
amusements of the Chinese, gambling holds 
a conspicuous place. Although it is strictly 
forbidden by law, it is winked at, and even 
encouraged by the authorities. It not un- 
frequently happens that magistrates even 
convert the outer rooms of their yamuns into 
gambling-houses, and share in the profits 
derived from the business. In every city 
these dens of corruption abound, and, as a 
rule, consist of two apartments. In the 
outer one the stakes are laid in copper cash, 
and in the inner room silver only is risked. 

Not content with the ordinary games o{ 
chance, such as those afforded by cards. 



248 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



roulette and other tables, the ingenuity of the 
people is exercised in inventing new means 
of losing their money. When there are no 
examinations to be decided and wagered on, 
the proprietor of a gambling-house will some- 
times take a sheet of paper on which are 
inscribed eighty characters, and having 
marked twenty, will deposit it in a box. 




ACTOR OF COCHIN-CHINA. 

Copies of the sheet bearing the same eighty 
characters are distributed among gamblers 
whose supreme object is to mark the same 
twenty characters as those on the sheet in 
the box. 

When all the papers have been received, 
the box which contains the overseer's paper, 
and which stands conspicuously on the table, 



is unlocked. If a gambler has marked only 
four of the characters selected by the over- 
seer, he receives nothing. If he has marked 
five of them, he receives seven cash ; if six, 
seventy cash ; if eight, seven dollars ; and if 
ten, fifteen dollars. 

In the streets the same spirit of specu- 
lation flourishes, and every itinerant vendor 
of eatables, whether of fried locusts, 
sweets, or the more satisfying rice 
with fish or vegetables, keeps a set 
of dice for the use of those customers 
who prefer to run the risk of winning 
their meals for nothing, or of losing 
both their money and their food, to 
paying the ordinary price for their 
viands. In dwelling-houses cards are 
everywhere played, and to the ladies 
they supply an inexhaustible source of 
amusement. The cards are smaller and 
more numerous than in our packs, and 
lend themselves to an endless variety 
of games. 

Only One Coin. 

The coinage of China, like every other 
institution of the Flowery Land, has 
two aspects — the one that which it pro- 
fesses to be, and the other that which 
it really is. Strange as it may seem, 
the Chinese have only one coin, which 
is known to them as chien, and to us 
as cash. In value a cash professes to 
be about one-tenth of a half-penny, but as 
a matter of fact it varies in almost every 
district, and it is even not at all uncommon 
to find two kinds of cash current in one 
neighborhood. In some parts of the country 
people go to market with two entirely distinct 
sets of cash, one of which is the ordinary 
mixture of good and bad, and the other is 
composed exclusively of counterfeit pieces. 
Certain articles are paid for with the spuri- 



FOOD, DRESS AND AMUSEMENTS. 



249 



ous cash only. But in regard to other com- 
modities this is a matter of special bargain, 
and accordingly there is for these articles a 
double market price. Independently, again, 
of the confusion arising from the use of 
genuine and counterfeit coins side by side, is 
added the uncertainty due to the system of 
counting. A hundred cash means varying 
numbers, other than a hundred, which are 
determined by the usage of each localit}^ 

A stranger, therefore, is liable to suffer 
loss at the hands of tradespeople, who still 
further complicate matters by almost invaria- 
bly naming a higher price for each article 
than that which they are prepared to accept. 
The weight of any considerable sum in cash 
is an additional objection to these most in- 
convenient coins. A dollar's worth of cash 
v/eighs about eight pounds, and the transpor- 
tation of any large sum in specie is, there- 
fore, a serious matter. For the purpose of 
carriage the cash are made with square holes 
in the centre, by means of which they are 
strung in nominal hundreds and thousands. 

Lumps of Silver. 

It is obvious, of course, that for the pur- 
chase of anything commanding more than a 
very low value some other currency must be 
employed, and this is supplied by lumps of 
silver, the values of which are in every case 
tested by the scales. In common parlance 
the price of goods is reckoned at so niany 
taels weight, a tael being, roughly speaking, 
the equivalent of an ounce, and for the sake 
of general convenience silver is cast into 
"shoes," as they are called from their shape, 
weighing a specified number of taels or 
ounces. 

For smaller amounts than are contained in 
a "shoe," broken pieces of silver are used, 
but in every case the value is reckoned, not 
by the piece, but by the weight. In strict 



accuracy even the cash is undeserving the 
name of coin, since instead of being moulded 
it is roughly cast, and both in design and 
manufacture does little credit to a nation 
which is unquestionably possessed of a large 
share of artistic taste. Of late the Governor- 
general of Canton has established a mint at 
that cit}', at which he coins both gold and 
silver tokens. 

The Oldest Bank Note. 

These, however, pass current only in the 
localit}', and so far the Imperial Government 
has shov^Ti no inclination to follow the excel- 
lent example set by this satrap. For many 
centuries bank bills and notes have been 
issued at the well-estabhshed banks in the 
principal centres of commerce, and during 
the Mongol dynasty the central Government 
introduced the practice of issuing Imperial 
notes to the people. A note which was 
passed into currency during the reign of an 
emperor of the succeeding Ming dynast}', 
who reigned from 1 368 to 1 399, is exhibited 
in a show-case in the King's Library in the 
British Museum, and is a specimen of the 
oldest note which is known to exist. 

Its date carries us back long before the 
general adoption of bank-notes in Europe, 
and three hundred years before the establish- 
ment of the Stockholm bank, which was the 
first bank in Europe to issue notes. At the 
present time notes are largely used at Pekin, 
but the very uncertain state of the currency 
renders a large depreciation inevitable, and 
makes tradespeople sometimes unwilling to 
accept them. 

Imperfect and undeveloped though it is, 
the coinage of China has a very long ances- 
try', and can trace its descent from about 
2CXDO B. C. One of the earhest shapes which 
the coins took was that of a knife, no doubt 
in imitation of the real weapon, which was 



250 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



early used as a medium of exchange. These 
knife coins originally consisted of the blade 
and handle, the last of which was terminated 
in a round end which was pierced in imita- 
tion of the article which they were intended 
to represent. By degrees the blade became 
shortened, until it entirely disappeared. The 
handle next suffered diminution, and eventu- 
ally the round end with a hole in the centre 
was all that was left, and it is that which is 
perpetuated at the present day in the modern 
cash. 

The prominence which the artists of Japan 
have of late acquired, and the very inferior 
specimens of Chinese work which now com- 
monly reach our shores, have blinded people 
to the real merits of the pictorial art of China. 
We are not now speaking of the common 
brightly colored paintings on rice-paper which 
are brought from Canton by travellers, but of 
the works of men who paint, and have 
painted, for the love of the art, and not only 
for the taels they can earn by their brushes. 

Superb Paintings. 

A few years ago a magnificent collection 
of Japanese paintings was exhicited at the 
British Museum, and was arranged in such 
a manner as to show that the art of China 
and Japan is one. For this purpose the 
paintings were arranged chronologically, be- 
ginning with some early specimens of Chi- 
nese art, and leading up to the time when 
the Japanese learned the use of the brush 
from their more cultivated neighbors. 

A comparison of the pictures thus dis- 
played was enough to prove to demonstra- 
tion that the artistic flame which has burned 
so brightly in Japan was lit by the genius 
of Chinese masters. The same marked 
and peculiar features characterize the 
arts of the two countries. In both the 
power of representing with fidelity birds, 



fishes, and flowers is remarkable, and an 
exquisite skill in harmonizing colors, and of 
giving life and vigor to forms, distinguishes 
the works of artists on both shores of the 
Yellow Sea. 

In like manner the same faults are observ- 
able in both schools. Perspective is com- 
monly defective, the anatomy of the human 
form is entirely misunderstood, and the 
larger animals, such as horses and cattle, 
suffer distortion at the hands of the artists. 
One noticeable feature in the technicalities 
of the art is the absence of shadow, the 
effect of which is produced by such skilful 
drawing that the omission is scarcely ob- 
served. 

Ideal Landscapes. 

As in the case of every fine art in China, 
the most precise rules are laid down to 
guide the painter, and the effect is observable 
in a certain uniformity in pictures of land- 
scapes and in the groupings of figures. The 
ideal landscape of the guide-books consists 
of a cloud-capped mountain, in the bosom 
of which a temple nestles surrounded by 
trees, one of which must be a weeping wil- 
low. On a rocky eminence should stand a 
gaunt and bowed pine-tree. Near this must 
be a waterfall crossed by a rustic bridge, 
forming a link in a winding path which leads 
up to the temple, while in the far distance 
should be seen sailing-boats wending their 
ways on the much-winding river which flows 
round the foot of the mountain. The addi- 
tion of a couple of aged chess-players seated 
under a willow tree on a prominent plateau 
on the side of the hill is recommended as 
being likely to give life to the scene. 

In two branches of their art Chinese 
draughtsmen may be said especially to excel. 
In the certainty with which they draw their 
outlines they are probably unmatched, ex- 




PORCELAIN VASES OF NORTHERN CHINA. 



251 



252 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



cept by the Japanese, and in the beauty of 
their miniature painting they have few equals. 
The skilful use of his brush which every 
schoolboy has to gain in copying the heir- 
oglyphic characters of the language accus- 
toms him to sketch forms with accuracy, and 
gives him an assured confidence in the draw- 
ing of his outlines. 

Skillful Draughtsmen. 

As, in addition, he is habituated to the 
use of Indian ink instead of lead pencils, he 
is aware that a false line must always remain 
against him as evidence of his want of skill. 
The mastery thus acquired gives him that 
wonderful power of unfalteringly expressing 
on paper the scenes he wishes to delineate 
which so often excites the astonishment of 
foreign draughtsmen. 

This practice with the brush stands the 
miniature painter in equally good stead, and 
enables him to lay on his colors with such 
certainty, and with so unfailing a steadiness 
of hand and eye, that he is able to represent 
with clearness, and often with exquisite 
beauty, patterns of microscopic minuteness. 
No better specimen of this last phase of the 
art can be instanced than the best examples 
of painting on porcelain. For delicacy of 
touch and richness of coloring these are 
often masterpieces, and possess a beauty 
which must charm every tutored eye. 

According to tradition the first beginnings 
of art in China are to be traced back many 
centuries before Christ, and were devoted, as 
in all primitive societies, to the adornment of 
the palaces of kings and the houses of the 
great nobles. If historians are to be trusted, 
the rude efforts of these early artists bore 
traces of the characteristics which have 
marked so distinctly the later developments 
of the art. 

The introduction of Buddhism, with its 



religious mysteries, its sacred biographies 
and its miraculous legends, supplied a fresh 
motive to the artists of China, who at once 
caught the inspiration, although they treated 
the subjects after the marked national man- 
ner. In the troublous period which suc- 
ceeded the fall of the Han dynasty (A. D. 
220), art, like all the other accomplishments 
which flourish best in time of peace, fell into 
decay, and it was not until the establishment 
of the Tang dynasty (A. D. 618) — the 
golden age of literature and culture — that 
art occupied again its true prominence in the 
estimation of the people. 

Scenes in Nature. 

It is at this period that we find the objects 
of nature represented with the fidelity and 
skill with which we are familiar in Chinese 
work. Throwing aside the martial notions 
of the earliest masters, and the religious 
ideas imported from India, the native artists 
sought their subjects in the fields and woods, 
on the mountain side and by the river's bank. 
They transferred to their canvasses the land- 
scapes which met their eyes, the flowers 
which grew around them, the birds as they 
flew or perched, and the fishes as they darted 
and swam in the clear water of the streams. 

These they depicted with the minuteness 
common to their craft, and rivalled in life- 
like rendering the work of the celebrated 
Tsao (A. D. 240), of whom it is said that, 
" having painted a screen for his sovereign, 
he carelessly added the representation of a 
fly to the picture, and that so perfect was the 
illusion that on receiving the screen Sun 
Kuan raised his hand to brush the insect 
away." 

As time advanced the lamp of art again 
grew dim, and it required the fresh impetus 
of a new dynasty to revive its brilliancy. 
The Sung dynasty (A. D. 960-1278) was 



FOOD, DRESS AND AMUSEMENTS. 



253 



rich in philosophers, poets, and painters, and 
while Chu Hi wrote metaphysical treatises, 
and the brothers Su sung of wine and the 
beauties of nature, Ma Yuen, Muh Ki, Li 
Lungyen, and a host of others painted birds 
and flowers, landscapes and figures, dragons 
and monkeys, together viith all kinds of other 
beasts which walk on the face of the earth, 
or are supposed to do so. 

With the rise to power of the Mongol 
dynasty in the 1 3th century the taste for the 
religious art of India revived, but did not 
eclipse the expression on canvas of that love 
of nature for which both the Chinese and 
Japanese are so conspicuous. But still paint- 
ing did not reach the high level to which it 
had attained in the earlier periods, and as of 
every other institution of China, we are 
obliged to say of the pictorial art, "the old 
is better." 

During the last dynasty, however, there 
were artists whose power of coloring was as 
great or even greater than that of any 
of their predecessors, so far as we are 
able to judge. With infinite skill and minute 
realism they painted figures in a way which 
commands just admiration. In the British 
Museum there are exhibited some specimens 



of this branch of the art which undoubtedly 
display great power of composition and infi- 
nite skill in the art of coloring. 

As a rule, however, the coloring of Chi- 
nese pictures, though always harmonious, is 
somewhat arbitrary and leaves on the eye an 
unpleasant feeling of flatness. In sense of 
humor the Chinese are certainly inferior to 
the Japanese. There is not in their work the 
same fertility of invention or happy choice of 
ideas as are to be found on the other side of 
the Yellow Sea. But Chinamen are not by 
any means devoid of this quality, and in 
many of their albums we find comic sketches 
reminding one irresistibly, though at a dis- 
tance, of the masterpieces of our most suc- 
cessful comic artists. The absence of the 
use of profile lines deprives the Chinese por- 
trait-painter of the full power of presenting 
life-like representations of his models, as he 
almost invariably draws full-face portraits. 
When by chance, however, he strikes off" a 
side face the effect is often good and the like- 
ness accurate. But in any circumstances the 
artistic feeling is there, and it needs but the 
touch of a torch from a higher civilization 
to make this and other branches of the art 
glow into more perfect life. 



CHAPXKR XIV. 
THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



RELIGIOUS sentiment is not a char- 
acteristic of the Chinese. Their 
views on the subject of faith are 
wanting in definitiveness, and are 
so indistinct and blurred that it might surpass 
the v/it of man to determine what is the pre- 
vaiUng rehgion of the country. The multi- 
tude of Buddhist temples which cover the 
face of the land might naturally suggest that 
the majority of the people profess the religion 
of Buddha ; while conversations with native 
scholars would unquestionably lead one to 
believe that the educated classes were to a 
man Confucianists. 

Taoism, the third religion which holds 
sway in China, does not make the same pre- 
tension to popularity as do the other two 
faiths. As a matter of fact, however, it 
would probably be difficult to find many 
Chinamen who are Confucianists pure and 
simple, or many who rest contented with the 
worship provided in Buddhist temples. 

A combination of the two — an amalgam 
in which the materialism of Confucius and 
the religious faith of Sakyamuni mutually 
supplement one another — enters into the life 
of the people at large ; while Taoism supplies 
a certain amount of superstitious lore which 
these lack. It is necessary to remark by 
way of caution that the term " religion " ap- 
plied to Confucianism is rather a popular 
than an exact form of expression. Religion 
implies the dependence of man on a Deity, 
and if we apply this definition to the doctrines 
of Confucius, we find that it in no way repre- 
sents the teachings of that philosopher. His 
254 



whole system is devoted to inculcating the 
duty which each man owes to his fellow- 
men, and stops short with the obligations 
under which every one rests in his relation 
to society. ^ 

Of these three systems Confucianism is 
the only one which took its rise on the soil 
of China. The other two faiths came, as 
have most of those influences which have 
modified the institutions of China, from be- 
yond the western frontiers of the Empire. 
Confucianism, however, was formulated by 
one man, who was essentially a typical 
Chinaman both in the strength and weak- 
ness of his character. 

Story of Confucius. 

In the year 55 i B. C, Confucius was born 
in what is now the department of Yenchow, 
in the province of Shantung. Legend sur- 
rounds his birth with many of the signs and 
wonders which are commonly said to herald 
the appearance of Eastern sages. We are 
told that the future uncrowned king first 
saw the light in a cavern on Mount Ni, and 
that while two goddesses breathed fragrant 
odors on the infant, a couple of dragons kept 
watch during the auspicious night at the foot 
of the mountain. 

His appearance was not prepossessing. 
He had the lips of an ox, the back of a 
dragon, while on his head grew a formation 
which earned for him the name of Chiu, "a 
mound." As the lad grew up he developed 
that taste for ritual which was the marked 
characteristic of his whole career. Like 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



255 



Saint Athartasius on the shores of the Medi- 
terranean Sea, he amused himself in early 
boyhood by rehearsing the sacrificial rites, 
and by practising the postures of ceremony 
prescribed by the older rituals. 

At the age of fifteen he tells us that he 
*'bent his mind to learning," and four years 
later he married a lady who, hke the wives 
of many other celebrated men, was a thorn 
in the flesh to her husband. Confucius 
endured the burden without complaint until 
his wife had borne him a son, when he 
sought release from his bondage at the hands 
of the very complaisant marital laws of the 
country. 

History and Ballads. 

The literature of China at this time was 
limited in extent, and consisted mainly of the 
historical records and popular ballads which 
were to be found in the royal archives. To 
a study of these Confucius devoted such 
time as he could spare from his oflScial 
duties as keeper of the royal stores, and from 
the hours which he devoted to the instruction 
of a faithful band of students who, even at 
this time, had gathered round him. 

When he was tvventy-nine " he stood firm," 
and certainly neither at this time nor at any 
subsequent period did his faith in his own 
convictions show the least sign of faltering. 
His circumstances were not affluent. An 
official life was, therefore, necessary to his 
existence, and he had no sooner equipped 
himself with a full panoply of ritualistic 
knowledge than he cast about to find a ruling 
sovereign who would be willing to guide the 
policy of the kingdom by his counsel. 

He was essentially a man of peace, and 
his opinions were such as required a period 
of undisturbed calm for their full develop- 
ment. The times, however, were against 
him. It was an age of war, when the hand 



of every one was against his neighbor, and 
when the strength of the right arm comman- 
ded more respect than wisdom in council. 
Sovereign after sovereign, attracted by the 
novelty of his teachings and the repute which 
was already beginning to attach itself to him, 
invited him to their courts, and for a time 
gave heed to the words of wisdom which fell 
from his lips. But their hearts were not 
^vith him, and more material attractions were 
apt to prevail over the sayings of the sage. 

On one occasion the present of a number 
of beautiful singing girls so captivated the 
attention of the Duke of Lu that the advice 
of Confucius was neither sought nor regar- 
ded. Disgusted by this affront, the sage 
shook the dust of the state from his feet and 
transferred his services to a rival ruler. On 
another occasion he was driven from the 
Court of Wei, where he had established him- 
self, by the undue preference shown by the 
duke for the society of the duchess to that of 
himself 

A Fabulous Animal. 

As he advanced in years his political influ- 
ence declined, and his stay at the regal 
courts became shorter and less satisfactory 
than formerly. At the age of sixty-nine his 
health failed, and the capture of a Lin — a 
fabulous animal which is said to appear as a 
forerunner of the death of illustrious person- 
ages — was effected at the same time. In the 
dearth of notable personages which had over- 
taken the land the appearance of these ani- 
mals was of such rare occurrence that the 
huntsmen were ignorant of its identity. 

The sage, however, at once recognized the 
creature, and, with that full appreciation of 
himself which never failed him, he at once 
came to the conclusion that his own end was 
near. " The course of my doctrine is run," 
he said, as tears coursed down his cheeks. 



256 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



An interval, however, elapsed between the 
omen and its fulfilment, and the two years 
which yet remained to him he devoted to the 
compilation of the " Spring and Autumn 
Annals " — the only work which is attribu- 
table to his pen. His end now approached, 
and one morning he was heard to mutter, as 
he paced up and down in front of his door, 
" The great mountain must crumble, the 



many of the great leaders of mankind, the 
fame and repute which were denied to Con- 
fucius during his lifetime have been fully and 
generously recognized by posterity, who 
have attached to every word he uttered, and 
to every act of his life, an importance and 
meaning to which, it must be allowed, they 
are not always entitled. 

Confucius was not an original thinker. 



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THE TEMPLE OF FIVE HUNDRED CHINESE GODS. 



strong beam must break, and the wise man 
wither away like a plant." 

In these words his disciples recognized the 
foreshadowing of his death, and the sage, 
disappointed in every one but himself, and 
filled with unavailing regrets that there 
should have been no intelligent monarch 
who would have made him his guide, phil- 
osopher, and friend, shortly took to his bed 
and died (479 B. C ). As in the case of 



He uttered no new thoughts and enunciated 
no new doctrines. He himself said that he 
was " a transmitter," and the one object of 
his life Was, as he professed, to induce the 
rulers of the land to revert to the ideal sys- 
tem which guided the councils of the semi- 
mythical sovereigns Yao and Shun (B. C. 
2356—2205). In the adulatory State Rec- 
ords, to which Confucius had access, the 
good that these monarchs did was embalmed 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



257 



for the admiration of posterity, but the evil, 
if there were such, was interred with their 
bones. 

The stilted sayings and highly moral re- 
flections which are attributed to them in the 
Book of History and other Records, appeared 
to Confucius to be the acme of wisdom, and 
he sought a remedy for all the political ills 
which surrounded him in the reproduction 
of the condition of things which prevailed 
at the earlier period. His leading dogma 
was the comfortable doctrine that man is 
born good, and that it is only by contamina- 
tion with the world and the things of the 
world that he is led to depart from the strict 
paths of rectitude and \drtue. It was only 
necessary, therefore, for a sovereign to give 
full vent to his natural strivings after good 
to enable him to emulate the glowing exam- 
ples of Yao and Shun. 

How to Gain \Visdom, 
He made no allowance for the evil pas- 
sions and moral turpitudes which disgrace 
mankind, and he entirely failed to recognize 
that "there is a power that shapes our ends, 
rough-hew them as we may." On the con- 
trar}% he held that man was alone arbiter 
of his own fate, and that by a strict regard 
to conventionalities, and by the careful ob- 
servance of the rites proper between man 
and man, it was possible to attain such a 
height of wisdom and righteousness as to 
constitute an equality with Heaven itself 

His system, therefore, began with the cul- 
tivation of the individual, and this was to be 
perfected by a strict observance of the min- 
utest details of conduct In his own person 
he set an illustrious example of how a great 
and good man should demean himself. He 
cultivated dignity of manner and scrupulous 
respect to those to whom respect was due. 
W^hen he entered the palace of his sovereign 



' he walked with a bent head and humble mien, 
and towards parents he inculcated through- 
out his career the duty of paying minute 
obedience and the most affectionate atten- 
tion to their every wish and command. 

In the manner in which he took his food, 
in the way in which he dressed, even in the 
attitude in which he lay in bed, he set him- 
self up as an example for all men to follow. 
People, he believed, were as grass before the 
wind, and that, if they were bent by the in- 
fluence of a superior in a certain direction, 
they would naturally follow that inclination. 
That the example of the sovereign was as 
the wind, and that he had but to allow his 
virtue to shine forth to ensure the reforma- 
tion of the whole state. Such a man "would 
plant the people, and forthwith they would 
be established ; he would lead them on, and 
forthwith they would follow him ; he would 
make them happy, and forthwith multitudes 
would resort to his dominions ; he would 
stimulate them, and forthwith they would be 
harmonious. While he lived, he would be 
glorious. When he died, he would be bit- 
terly lamented." 

Incapable Rulers. 

Such a sovereign need but to exist and an 
age of peace and prosperity would settle on 
the land. When, therefore, a state was dis- 
turbed and rebellious, the main fault was not 
to be attributed to the people, but to the 
sovereign who ruled them ; and hence it fol- 
lowed that the duties of ruler and people 
were reciprocal, and that while the people 
owed respect and obedience to virtuous sov- 
ereigns, they were exempt from the duty of 
loyalty to rulers who had departed from the 
paths of virtue. 

According to his theory, it was an easy 
matter for a sovereign to rule his people 
righteously. " Self-adjustment and purifica- 



258 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



tion, with careful regulation of his dress and 
the not making a movement contrary to the 
rules of propriety- — this is the way for the 
ruler to cultivate his person." Having cul- 
tivated his own person, he is able to rule the 
Empire, and Confucius could find no excuse, 
therefore, for a sovereign who failed to fulfil 
these very easy conditions. 

Skeptical Views. 

In such a system there is no room for a 
personal Deity, and Confucius withheld all 
sanction to the idea of the existence of such 
a Being. He refused to lift his eyes above 
the earth or to trouble himself about the 
future beyond the grave. " When we know 
so little about life, was his reply to an inqui- 
sitive disciple, *' how can we know anything 
about death?" and the best advice he could 
give his followers with regard to spiritual be- 
ings was to keep them at a distance. 

But while ignoring all direct supernatural 
interference in the concerns of man, he ad- 
vocated the highest morality among his fol- 
lowers. Truth and Sincerity, Righteousness 
and Virtue were the main themes of his dis- 
courses, and though he himself failed on many 
occasions to observe the truth, he yet pro- 
fessed and felt the greatest respect and re- 
gard for that virtue. He was a plain, un- 
imaginative man, but used the mundane 
weapons at his command with mighty and 
far-reaching effect. 

Once only he reached to the high level of 
perfect Christianity, and in the enunciation 
of the command " to do unto others as you 
would they should do unto you," he sur- 
passed himself. From his limited stand- 
point he had no future bliss to offer to his 
followers as a reward for virtue, nor any pun- 
ishments after death with which to awe those 
who were inclined to depart from the paths 
of rectitude. His teaching was of the earth, 



earthy, and as such was exactly suited to the 
commonplace, matter-of-fact tone of the Chi- 
nese mind. And thus it has come about 
that, though, during his lifetime, his influence 
was confined to a small knot of faithful disci- 
ples, his system has since been accepted as 
the guiding star of the national policy and 
conduct. « 

Confucius was not the only teacher of 
note who appeared about this time to warn 
the people of the probable consequences of 
the violence and misrule which was spread- 
ing over the Empire like a flood. For many 
centuries men calling themselves Taoists, 
who were plainly imbued with the philoso- 
phical mysticism of Brahminical India, had 
preached the vanity of attempting to stem 
the tide of disorder, and had, like the Mani- 
chaeans, withdrawn as far as possible from 
the crowd of men into selfish retirement. 

Disagreed With ConfuciuSo 
The views of these men were vague and 
shadowy, and it was not until the appearance 
of Laotzu, who was a contemporary of but 
senior to Confucius, that their aspirations 
found expression in a formulated system. In 
almost every respect Laotzu, or the old 
philosopher, was poles asunder from Con- 
fucius. Of his childhood and youth we 
know nothing, and, unlike Confucius, whose 
every act of daily life is faithfully recorded, 
we are left in complete ignorance of his per- 
sanal history until we meet him as an old 
man, holding the office of keeper of the 
records at the Court of Chow. 

We are told that his surname was Li, and 
that his personal name was Urh, which is, 
being interpreted, "an ear" — a sobriquet 
which is said to have been given him on ac- 
count of the unusually large size of those 
organs. 

His birth, we are told, took place in the 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



259 



year 604 B. C, at the village of Chiijen, or 
"Oppressed Benevolence," in the parish of 
Li, or "Cruelty," in the district of Ku, or 
^'Bitterness," and in the state of Tsu, or 
"Suffering." If these places were as 
mythical as John Bunyan's " City of De- 
struction " and "Vanity Fair," their names 
could not have been more appropriately 
chosen to designate the birthplace of a sage 
who was driven from office and from friends 
by the disorders of the time. It is remark- 
able that the description of his large ears 
and general appearance tallies accurately 
with those of the non-Chinese tribes on the 
western frontiers of the Empire. 

Indian Philosophy. 

His surname, Li, also reminds one of the 
large and important tribe of that name which 
was dispossessed by the invading Chinese, 
and was driven to seek refuge in what is 
now Southwestern China. But, however, 
that may be, it is impossible to overlook the 
fact that he imported into his teachings a 
decided flavor of Indian philosophy. 

His main object was to explain to his fol- 
lowers the relations between the universe and 
that which he called Tao. The first mean- 
ing of this word is, "The way," but in the 
teachings of Laotzu it was much more than 
that. " It \\3is the way and the waygoer. It 
was an eternal road ; along it all beings and 
all things walked, but no being made it, for 
it is being itself; it was ever>' thing and noth- 
ing, and the cause and effect of all. All 
things originated from Tao, conformed to 
Tao, and to Tao they at last returned." 

Like Confucius, Laotzu held that the 
nature of man was originally good, but from 
that point their systems diverged. In place 
of the formalities and ceremonies which were | 
the comer-stones of the Confucian cult, 
Laotzu desired to bring his followers back 



to the state of simplicity before the absence 
of the virtues which Confucius lauded had 
forced on the minds of men the conscious- 
ness of their existence. He would have 
them revert to a halcyon period when filial 
piety, virtue and righteousness belonged to 
the nature of the people, and before the re- 
cognition of their opposites made it neces- 
sary to designate them. 

Instead of asserting themselves, he urged 
his disciples to strive after self-emptiness. 
His favorite illustration was that of water, 
which seeks the lowliest spots, but which at 
the same time permeates everything, and by 
its constant dropping pierces even the hard- 
est substances. By practising modesty, 
humility and gentleness, men may, he 
taught, hope to walk safely on the path 
which leads to Tao, and protected by those 
virtues they need fear no e\il. 

The Mother of All Things. 

To such men it requires no more effort to 
keep themselves pure and uncontaminated 
than it does to the pigeon to preserve un- 
tarnished the whiteness of its feathers, or to 
the crow to maintain the sable hue of its 
pinions. 

Tao was the negation of effort. It was 
inactive, and yet left nothing undone. -It 
was formless, and yet the cause of form. It 
was still and void. It changed not, and yet 
it circulated everynvhere. It was impalpable 
and im-isible. It was the origin of heaven 
and earth, and it was the mother of all 
things. To such a prophet as Laotzu war 
was hateful, and he inculcated the duty of 
turning the other cheek to the smiter, and 
of retreating before all forms of violence. 
Unlike Confucius, he advocated the duty of 
recompensing evil with good, and injury with 
kindness; but he joined hands with that 
sage in ignoring the existence of a personal 



260 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Deity. Thus, in some particulars, they held 
common views. 

Tao was all and in all. It was uncon- 
ditioned being, which, as an abstraction too 



every evil. It did not strive with man, but let 

each one who strayed from its paths find out 

for himself the evil consequences of his acts. 

As a political system Taoism was plainly 




TEMPLE AT NANKIN. 



subtle for words, is the origin of heaven and 
earth, including God Himself; and, when 
capable of being expressed by name, is the 
mother of all things. It was a mighty pro- 
tector who guarded its faithful sons against 



impracticable. If the Chinese state and the 
surrounding nations could have been con- 
verted bodily to it, an ideal such as Laotzu 
sketched out may have found a place in 
existence. But in camps and amid the clash 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



261 



of arms its adoption was plainly incompatible 
with the existence of a nation, and Laotzu, 
finding that his preaching fell on deaf ears, 
resigned his missionary effort, and, leaving 
China behind him, started in a westerly direc- 
tion — whither we know not. 

No record has come down to us of his 
last days, nor have we any more knowledge 
of where death overtook him than we have of 
his origin. As a meteor he flashed across 
the meridian of China, and then disappeared 
into darkness. 

A comparison of the doctrines advocated 
by Laotzu with the Brahminic philosophy, 
proves to demonstration that he drew his 
inspiration from India. The Tao of Laotzu 
as expounded in the Taotcching, a work 
•which is popularly attributed to him, was 
the Brahma of the Brahmins, from which 
ever}'thing emanates and to which ever)'- 
thing returns ; " which is both the fountain 
from which the stream of life breaks forth 
and the ocean into which it hastens to lose 
itself" 

A Crop of Heresies. 

The whole conception of the system was 
foreign to the Chinese mind, and his personal 
influence was no sooner withdrawn from his 
disciples than heresies cropped up and de- 
based views took the place of the singularly 
pure and subtle metaphysical thoughts of 
the teacher. The doctrine that life and 
death were mere phases in the existence of 
man encouraged the growth of an epicurean 
longing to enjoy the good things of life in 
oblivion of the hereafter. This tendency led 
to an inordinate desire to prolong life, and 
there were not wanting among the followers 
of Laotzu those who professed to have 
gained the secret of immortality. 

Several of the reigning sovereigns, at- 
tracted by these heterodox ^•iews, professed 



themselves Taoists ; and even Chi Hwangti, 
the builder of the Great Wall, fell a victim 
to the prevailing superstition. More than 
once he sent expeditions to the Eastern Isles 
to procure the plant of immortality, which 
was said to flourish in those favored spots. 
Death and poverty have always been states 
abhorrent to common humanit}-, and to the 
eli.xir of immortality, Taoist priests, in the 
interests of the cause, added a farther con- 
quest over nature, and professed to have 
fathomed the secret of being able to trans- 
mute common metals into gold. 

Believers in Magic. 

These are superstitions which die hard, 
and even at the present day alchemists are 
to be found poring over crucibles in the vain 
hope of being able to secure to themselves 
boundless wealth ; and seekers after magic 
herbs, though hesitating to promise by their 
use an endless life, yet attribute to them the 
virtue of prolonging youth and of delaying 
the approach of the time when " the strong 
men shall bow themselves, and the grinders 
cease because they are few, and those that 
look out of the windows be darkened." 

Coupled with these corruptions came a 
desire for visible objects of worship, and, fol- 
lowing the example of the Buddhists, the 
Taoists deified Laotzu, and associated two 
other gods with him to form a trinity. The 
establishment of these deities gave rise to a 
demand for new gods to personify the various 
personal wants and wishes of the people. 

At the present day a Taoist temple is a 
veritable Pantheon, and it is scarcely pos- 
sible to imagine a craving on the part of 
either man or woman for which there is not 
a particular god or goddess whose pro\nnce 
it is to listen to their cries. Thus the whole 
tendency of modem Taoism has been towards 
the practice of magic and the most debased 



262 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



superstitions and it has found multitudes cf 
willing adherents. 

If a man desires that his horoscope should 
be cast, or that the demon of disease should 
be expelled from the body of his wife or 
child, or that a spirit should be called from 
the other world, or that the perpetrator of a 
theft or murder should be discovered, a 
Taoist priest is invariably sent for, who, by 
the exercise of his arts, succeeds in so far 
mystifying the inquirer as to satisfy his 
demands. These preyers on the follies of 
their fellow-men reap so rich a harvest from 
the practice of their rites and incantation, 
that the calling is one that is eagerly sought 
after. 

A Pompous High Priest. 

Being thus largely supported, the Taoist 
hierarchy has grown into a large and power- 
ful body, and is presided over by a high 
priest, who is chosen for the office by divine 
selection from a certain family bearing the 
name of Chang, among whom the spiritual 
afflatus is supposed to rest. This ecclesiastic 
lives surrounded by wealth and dignity, and 
at stated intervals presents himself at Pekin 
to offer his allegiance to the Emperor. 

As agreeable supplements to their monas- 
teries, the Taoist priests encourage the estab- 
lishment of nunneries, into which young girls 
retreat, either at the bidding of their parents 
or of their own free choice as a means of 
escape from the uncertainties of marriage or 
from the miseries of their homes. Such 
retreats are not always the abodes of purity 
and peace, and, as occasionally has hap- 
pened, the occurence of disorders and impro- 
prieties has compelled the law to interfere for 
their suppression. 

The descent from the lofty aspirations of 
Laotzu to the magic, jugglery, and supersti- 
tion of the modern-day Taoists is probably 



as great a fall as has ever been recorded in 
the history of religions. Laotzu attempted 
to lead his disciples beyond the attractions of 
self and the seductions of the world. His 
so-called followers devote their energies to 
encouraging the debased superstitions of 
their fellow-men, and so fatten on their 
follies. 

Cravings of Human Nature. 

But there are instinctive longings in the 
minds of men, even in those of Chinamen, 
which neither Confucianism, nor Taoism in 
its earlier phase, could supply. Deep down 
in the hearts of civilized and uncivilized 
peoples is a desire to peer into the future, 
and seek for verities beyond the limited circle 
of pains and miseries which bounds the pres- 
ent life. To Chinamen this want was supplied 
by Buddhism, which was introduced into the 
Flowery Land by native missionaries from 
India. So early as 219 B. C. the first fore- 
runners of the faith of Sakyamuni reached 
the Chinese capital of Loyang. But the 
time was not ripe for their venture. The 
stoical followers of Confucius and Laotzu 
presented a determined and successful oppo- 
sition to them, and, after a chequered experi- 
ence of Chinese prisons and courts, they 
disappeared from the scene, leaving no traces 
of their faith behind them. 

In A. D. 61 a second mission arrived in 
China, whose members met with a far more 
favorable reception. A settled government 
had followed the time of disorder which had 
previously prevailed, and, though the Con- 
fucianists raged and persecuted, the mission- 
aries held their own, and succeeded in lay- 
ing the solid foundation of a faith which was 
destined in later ages, to overspread the whole 
Empire. 

Even at this early period a schism had 
rent the Church in India, where the Hina- 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



263 



yana and Mahayana schools had already 
divided the allegiance of the followers of 
Buddha. The Hinayana school, which held 
more closely to the moral asceticism and 
self-denj-ing, self-sacrificing charity which 
were preached by the founder of the faith, 
established iiself more especially among the 
natives of Southern India and of Ceylon. 

The Mahayana school, on the other hand, 
which may be described as a philosophical 
system, which found expression in an elab- 
orate ritual, an idolatrous symbolism, and in 
ecstatic meditation, gained its main support- 
ers among the more hardy races of North- 
em India, Nepal, and Tibet. 

Gained Many Converts. 

It was this last form of the faith which 
found acceptance in China. It supplied ex- 
actly that which Confucianism and Taoism 
lacked, and, notwithstanding the opposition 
of the stalwarts of the Confucian doctrine, 
it spread rapidly and gained the ready adhe- 
sion of the people. And though the mis- 
sionaries sanctioned the deification of Buddha 
and the worship of gods, they still main- 
tained the main features of the faith. 

The doctrine of Metempsychosis, the 
necessity of gaining perfect emancipation 
from all passions, all mental phenomena, and, 
greatest of all, from self, were preached in 
season and out of season, and gained a firm 
hold among their proselj-tes. It is the fate 
of all religions to degenerate in course of 
ages from the purity of their origins, and 
Buddhism in China affords an illustrious ex- 
ample of this phenomenon. Not content 
with the liberal share of superstition which 
was santioned by the Mahayana system, the 
people turned aside to the later Tantra 
school in search of a sanction for still more 
fenatical practices. 

Like the Taoists, the Buddhist monks pro- 



fessed to be adepts in the arts of magic, and 
claimed to themselves the powder of being 
able to banish famine, remove pestilence, 
and drive away evil spirits, by their incanta- 
tions. They posed as astrologers and exor- 
cists, and made dupes of the people from the 
highest to the lowest 

Governed by the Senses. 

With the choice before them of a holy 
life, from which desire and self are wholly 
eradicated, and a religious profession which 
ministers to the senses and to the ordinary 
intelligence, the modem Chinese have had no 
hesitation in throwing in their lot with the 
more mundane school. With the five com- 
mandments of Buddha, "thou shalt not kill; 
thou shalt not steal ; thou shalt not commit 
any unchaste act ; thou shalt not lie ; thou 
shalt not drink any intoxicating liquor," the 
ordinary Chinese Buddhist does not much 
concern himself. He clings, however, to the 
doctrine of the transmigration of souls, and 
though he not uncommonly lapses into the 
sin of eating meat and fish, yet his diet for 
the most part is, to his credit it must be said, 
confined to the Lenten fare of vegetables and 
grain. 

In all religious works this dogma is 
strenuously insisted on, and even in popular 
literature authors not infrequently picture 
the position of men who, by the mercy of 
Buddha, have narrowly escaped from the sin 
of devouring their best friends in the guise 
of a carp or a ragout. The plain and un- 
disguised adoption of idolatry by the Chinese 
made the existence of temples a first neces- 
sity, and at the present time these sacred 
edifices are to be found wherever men meet 
and congregate whether in the streets of 
cities or in xnllage lanes. 

Among the countless idols which adorn 
their halls the first places are invariably 



264 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



given to the trinity of Buddhas — the past 
Buddha, the present Buddha and the Buddha 
which is to come. These three figures 
dominate the principal hall of every temple. 
In rear of this is commonly a dagoba in 
which is concealed a relic of Buddha — it 
may be the paring of a nail, a tear-drop or a 
lock of hair — and at the back of that again 
are the deities which are supposed to preside 
over all the ills that flesh is heir to. 

As is the case everywhere, women are the 
most constant devotees, and on the pedestals 
of the favorite deities are commonly to be 
seen scores of votive offerings expressing 
the gratitude of these worshippers for 
mercies vouchsafed to them. But there is 
a reverse side to the shield from the gods' 
point of view. It not unfrequently happens 
that deities who, either from forgetfulness or 
malevolence, have turned a deaf ear to the 
prayers of suppliants, are violently assaulted 
and defaced. 

Rebellion Against an Idol. 

At Foochow, where a long drought had 
wrought havoc among the neighboring 
farms, the people rose against the god of 
sickness, who was supposed to be the cause of 
the plague, and having made a paper junk 
bearing a paper effigy of the offending deity, 
they launched him on the river at the same 
moment that they set fire to the vessel. This 
emblematized banishment was supposed to 
do away with the evil influences which had 
prevailed, and the showers which subse- 
quently fell were held fully to j ustify the ex- 
emplary rite. 

Strictly speaking, the term " priest " does 
not apply to Buddhists. They offer no sacri- 
fice to the gods, but are merely monks who 
perform services and pronounce incantations 
for the benefit of their followers. The prac- 
tice of contemplative meditation, which is 



one of the features of the Mahayana school, 
has multiplied these social drones by directly 
encouraging the establishment of monasteries 
and their allied nunneries. 

Each monastery is governed by an abbot, 
who has the power of inflicting punishment 
on offending brothers, and the discipline 
commonly preserved is in direct ratio to the 
vigilance and conscientiousness of that func- 
tionary. If the popular belief is to be 
accepted, neither the discipline nor the 
morality of the monasteries is above sus- 
picion, and in popular farces and tales the 
character who appears in the most compro- 
mising positions, and is discovered in the 
perpetration of the most disgraceful acts, is 
commonly a Buddhist priest. 

How Vacanies are Filled. 

Outwardly, however, an air of peace and 
decorum is preserved, and there is seldom a 
lack of aspirants for the sacred office when 
vacancies occur. Commonly the neophytes 
join as mere boys, having been devoted to 
the service of Buddha by their parents. At 
other times a less innocent cause supplies 
candidates for the cowl. Like sanctuary of 
old, Buddhist monasteries are held to be 
places of refuge for malefactors, and of this 
very raw and unpromising material a large 
proportion of the monks are made. 

But from whatever motive he may join, 
the neophyte, on entering, having discarded 
his secular garments, and donned the gown 
and cowl of the monkhood, marks his sepa- 
ration from the world by submitting to the 
loss of his queue and to the shaving of his 
head. The duties of the monks are not 
labrious, and they enjoy in the refectory 
good though plain food. In the nunneries, 
which are almost as numerous as monas- 
teries, much the same routine is followed as 
is practiced by the monks. The evil of the 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



265 



system is. howev^er, more apparent in the 
sisterhoods than in the monasteries, and a 
bad reputation for all kinds of improprieties 
•clings to them. 

It must not, however, be supposed that 
there is no such thing as rehgious zeal 
among Buddhist monks. Mendicant friars 
often endure hardships, practice austerities, 
and undergo self-inflicted tortures in the 
cause of their religion. Others banish them- 
selves to mountain caves, or condemn them- 
selves to perpetual silence to acquire that 
virtue which ensures to them an eternal life 
in the blissful regions of the west. But such 
cases are the exceptions, and to the majorit}^ 
of both monks and nuns the old saying 
applies, " The nearer the church the further 
from God." 

Superstitious Observances. 

Such is, stated briefly, the position of the 
three principal religions in China. Both 
Mahommedanism and Christianity have their 
followings ; but the numbers of their adher- 
ents are so comparatively small that, at 
present, they cannot be said to influence 
in any way the life of the nation. Mean- 
while, the people, disregarding the distinc- 
tive features of the three creeds — Confu- 
cianism, Taoism, and Buddhism — take from 
each such tenets and rites as suit their 
immediate views and necessities, and super- 
adding numerous superstitious obserxances 
which have ejiisted from before . the time 
when Confucius and Laotzu were, have 
established a religious medley which, hap- 
pily, satisfies all the needs of which they 
are conscious. 

Many of the forms employed to coti- 
memorate the annual festivals have in them 
that touch of nature- worship which makes 
the whole primitive world kin. In the 
seventh month, for example, a festival in 



honor of a star-goddess, famous for her skill 
in embroider)', is held, at which young girls 
display specimens of needlework, and offer 
up supplications before the altar of the god- 
dess, praying that a share of her skill may 
be bestowed upon them. 

At the same time, to show that they are 
worthy disciples of the deity, they attempt 
on their knees to thread their needles, held 
above their heads, to the accompaniment of 
music discoursed by blinxi musicians. The 
moon is worshipped in the eighth month, 
and moon-cakes, especially prepared for the 
occasion, are offered by the light of her 
beams in adoration of the goddess. The 
sun also comes in for his share of adoration. 
To these and similar celebrations Buddhism 
lends its countenance, and on the eighth of 
the fourth month the saint himself submits 
to be bathed in effigy for the edification of 
the faithful, who testify their zeal by pouring 
handfuls of cash on his brazen forehead. 

Religious Edifices. 
Incidentally, we have brought to our atten- 
tion in this connection the construction of 
religious edifices or temples, and Chinese 
dwelling-houses. We are all familiar with 
drawings of the quaint roofs with their up- 
turned corners, which characterize the archi- 
tecture of the countrj'. The form at once 
suggests that, as is probably the case, this 
dominant style of building is a sur\nval of 
the tent-dwellings of the Tartar peoples. It 
is said that when Jenghiz Khan, the founder 
of the Mongol dynasty, invaded China, in 
the thirteenth centur)% his followers, on pos- 
sessing themselves of a city, reduced the 
houses to a still more exact counterpart of 
their origins by pulling down the walls, and 
leaving the roofs supported by the wooden 
pillars which commonly bear the entire 
weight of those burdens. 



266 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



What at once strikes the eye in the 
appearance of a Chinese city, even of the 
capital itself, is the invariable sameness in 
the style of building. Palaces and temples, 
public offices and dwelling-houses, are built 
on one constant model. No spire, no dome, 
no tower, rises to relieve the monotony of 




INTERIOR OF A CHINESE TliMl'LE, SHOWING THEIR IDOLS, 

the scene, which is varied only, so far as 
the buildings are concerned, by the different 
colored tiles — green, yellow, and brown — 
which indicate roughly the various uses 
which the buildings they cover are designed 
to serve, and by occasional pagodas, remind- 
ing us of the faith of the people. 

In his " History of Indian and Eastern 



Architecture," the late Mr. Fergusson sug- 
gested, as a reason for this absence of variety 
the fact that " the Chinese never had either a. 
dominant priesthood or an hereditary no- 
bility. The absence of the former class is 
important, because it is to sacred art that 
architecture has owed its highest inspiration, 
and sacred art is never sa 
strongly developed as under 
the influence of a powerful 
and splendid hierarchy. In 
the same manner the want of 
an hereditary nobility is 
equally unfavorable to do- 
mestic architecture of a dura- 
ble description. Private feuds 
and private wars were till 
lately unknown, and hence 
there are no fortalices, or 
fortified mansions, which by 
their mass and solidity give 
such a marked character ta 
a certain class of domestic 
edifices in the West." 

There are, however, other 
factors which have operated 
even more powerfully than 
these two in producing this 
monotonous conformity to 
one model, and that is the 
sterility of the imaginative 
powers of the Chinese 
people, and the steadfast 
conservatism of the race. 
Just as the arts and sci- 
ences, which in the dim past they acquired 
from more cultured races in Western Asia, 
have remained cr>'stallized in the stage in 
which they received them, and just as their 
written language has not, like that of Ancient 
Egypt and Assyria, advanced beyond a primi- 
tive phonetic stage, so their knowledge of 
architecture has been perpetuated without 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



267 



the smallest symptom of development or the 
least spark of genius. Even when they 
have an example of better things before 
them, they deliberately avert their eyes, and 
go on repeating the same type of mean and 
paltry buildings. 

Filthy Streets. 

At all the treaty ports, and notably at 
Shanghai, there have been reared on the 
foreign settlement houses in every kind of 
western architecture, bordering wide and 
well-made roads, and pro\-ided with ever>' 
sanitary improvement, and yet, in the ad- 
joining native cities, houses are daily built 
on exactly the original model, the streets are 
left as narrow and filthy as ever, and no ef- 
fort is made to improve the healthiness of 
the areas. It might be supposed that in a 
nation where there exists such a profound 
veneration for everything that is old, the 
people would have striven to perpetuate the 
glories of past ages in great and noble 
monuments that Emperors would have raised 
palaces to themselves at I'ecords of their 
greatness, and that the magnates of the land 
would have built houses which should en- 
dure as homes for generations of descend- 
ants. 

But it would seem as though their no- 
madic origin haunted them in this also, and 
that, as in shape so in durability', " the re- 
collection of their old tent-houses, which 
were pitched to-day and struck to-morrow, 
still dominates their ideas of what palaces 
and houses should be." Throughout the 
length and breadth of China there is not a 
single building, except it may be some few 
pagodas, which by any stretch of the imagin- 
ation can be called old. 

A few generations suffice to see the state- 
liest of their palaces crumble into decay, and 
a few centuries are enough to obliterate all 



traces even of royal cities. The Mongol 
conqueror, Kublai Khan, whose wealth, 
magnificence and splendor are recorded with 
admiration by travellers, built for himself a 
capital near the city of Pekin. If any his- 
torian should \\ish to trace out for himself 
the features of that Imperial city, he would 
be compelled to seek amid the earth-covered 
mounds which alone mark the spot where 
the conqueror held his court, for any relics 
which may perchance survive. 

Above ground the city, with all its bar- 
baric splendors, has vanished as a dream. 
For this ephemeralness the style and nature 
of the buildings are responsible. A Chinese 
architect invites damp, and all the destruc- 
tive consequences which follow from it, by 
building his house on the surface of the soil; 
he ensures instabilit}^ by basing it on the shal- 
lowest of foundations, and he makes certain 
of its overthrow by using materials which 
most readily decay. 

The Roof Built First. 

The structure consists of a roof supported 
by wooden pillars, with the intervals filled in 
with badly baked bricks. It is strictly in ac- 
cordance with the topsy-turvy Chinese 
methods that the framework of the roof 
should be constructed first, before even the 
pillars which are to support it are placed in 
position. But, like most of the other con- 
tradictor}'- practices of the people, this one is 
capable of rational explanation. 

Strange as it may seem, the pillars are 
not sunk into the ground, but merely stand 
upon stone foundations. The weight of the 
roof is, therefore, necessary for their sup- 
port, and to its massive proportions is alone 
attributable the temporary substantialness of 
the building. To prevent an overthrow the 
summits of the pillars are bound together by 
beams, and much ingenuity and taste is 



268 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



shown in the adornment of the ends of 
these supports and cross-pieces, which ap- 
pear beneath the eaves of the upturned 
roof. For the most part the pillars are 
plain, and either square or round, and at the 
base are slightly cut in, after the manner of 
the pillars in the temples of ancient Egypt. 

Dragons and Serpents. 

Occasionally, when especial honor, either 
due to religious respect or official grandeur, 
attaches to a building, the pillars are carved 
into representations of dragons, serpents, or 
winding foliage, as the taste of the designer 
may determine. But in a vast majority of 
buildings the roof is the only ornamented 
part, and a great amount of pains and skill 
is devoted to add beauty to this part of the 
structure. 

A favorite method of giving an appear- 
ance of lightness to the covering of a house 
er temple which would otherwise look too 
heavy to be symmetrical, is to make a double 
roof, so as to break the long line necessitated 
by a single structure. The effect produced 
by looking down on a city studded with 
temples and the palaces of nobles is, so far 
as color is concerned, brilliant and pictur- 
esque, and reminds the traveller of the view 
from the Kremlin over the glittering gilt- 
domed churches of Moscow. 

The damp from the soil which is so detri- 
mental to the stability of the building is 
made equally injurious to the inhabitants by 
the fact that all dwellings consist of the 
ground floor only. With very rare excep- 
tions such a thing as an upper story is 
unknown in China, one reason, no doubt, 
being that neither the foundations nor the 
materials are sufficiently trustworthy to sup- 
port anything higher than the ground floor. 
The common .symbol for a house indicates 
the ground plan on which dwellings of the 



better kmd are designed. It is one which is 
compounded of parts meaning a square 
within a doorway. 

On entering the front door the visitor 
passes into a courtyard, on either side of 
which are dwelling-rooms, and at the end of 
which is a hall, with probably rooms at both 
extremities. Doors at the back of this hall 
communicate with another courtyard, and in 
cases of wealthy famihes, a third courtyard 
succeeds, which is devoted to the ladies of 
the household. Beyond this is the garden, 
and, in the case of country houses, a park. 
The whole enclosure is surrounded with a 
blank wall, which is pierced only by the 
necessary doors. All the windows face 
inwards. 

Monotony of Architecture. 

To the wayfarer, therefore, the appearance 
of houses of the better sort is monotonous 
and drear, and suggests a want of life which 
is far from the actual fact, and a desire for 
privacy which, so far as the apartments 
devoted to the male inmates are concerned, 
is equally wide of the mark. In accordance 
with Chinese custom, the front courtyard 
may be considered to be open to any who 
may choose to wander in, and a desire to ex- 
clude all strangers would be held to argue 
that there was something wrong going on 
which the owner wished to conceal. 

The courtyards are decorated with flowers 
and vases according to the taste of the in- 
habitants, and occasionally a forest tree 
arises in their midst, which gives a grateful 
shade from the heat of the day. The rooms, 
when well-furnished, are rather artistically 
pretty than comfortable. To begin with, the 
floors are either of pounded clay or of badly 
made bricks. No carpet, except in the north 
of the country, protects the feet from the 
damp foundation, and if it were not for the 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



269 



thick wadded soles or the shoes worn, and 
the prevailing habit of reclining on divans, 
and of sitting cross-legged, the result to the 
health of the people would be very serious. 

In the south, these divans are of wood, 
and in the north they take the shape of Kang, 
or stove bed-places. These last are com- 
monly built of brick, and occupy one side of 
the room. They are made hollow, for the 
insertion of burning brushwood or coal, 
which affords warmth to the room generallyj 
and especially to the occupants of the Kang. 

A Pillow of Wood. 

Mats placed on the brickwork form the 
resting-place of the wadded bedclothes, 
which supply all the furniture for the night 
which a Chinaman requires, except the 
pillow. To us the idea of a pillow is some- 
thing soft and yielding, which gives rest, and 
an elastic support to the whole head. To a 
Chinaman it conveys quite a different notion. 
A hard, rounded cylinder of wood or 
lacquer-ware has, to him, a charm which 
lulls to sleep in an attitude which would be 
intolerable to us. It supports only tlie neck, 
and leaves the head without anything on 
which to recHne. 

In some parts of the country, where 
women, by the use of bandoline, dress their 
hair in protrusive shapes, this kind of pillow 
has, at least, one advantage. After the 
longest night's rest they are able to rise 
without the slightest derangement of their 
coiffures, which thus remain for days, and 
sometimes for weeks, without renewal. 

Unlike their Asiatic neighbors, the Chi- 
nese have been accustomed to the use of 
chairs for centuries. A record of the time 
when they were habituated to the common 
Oriental custom of sitting on the ground, is 
preser\ed in the word for " a feast," the pri- 
mary meaning of which is " a mat," suggest- 



ing the usual Eastern practice of spreading 
food on a mat or rug on the floor. But, 
though they have advanced so far, they have 
by no means arrived at the knowledge of an 
easy chair. Angular in shape, stiff and un- 
yielding in its materials, a Chinese chair is 
only welcome when rest is not an object. 

Its very uncomfortable structure and ma- 
terial suggests a foreign origin for it, and 
even at the present time, the use of chairs is 
not universal throughout the Empire. When 
the Emperor lately received the foreign min- 
isters, he did so seated cross-legged on a 
cushion ; and on all native state occasions in 
the north of the country this mode of sitting 
is commonly in vogue. 

Choice Furniture. 

In wealthy households the woods used for 
furniture are those brought from the Straits 
Settlements and Borneo, such as camagon, 
ebony, puru, redwood and rosewood; while 
less opulent people are content to use chairs, 
bedsteads, and tables made of bamboo and 
stained woods. But, whatever the material, 
considerable labor and artistic skill are used 
to give grace and beauty to the various arti- 
cles. . As in the case of the roofs already 
spoken of, the ornaments in tables are chiefly 
centered in the space beneath the overlap- 
ping tops. 

Ornamental work, bearing a strong resem- 
blance to Greek patterns, is commonly em- 
ployed \\ith admirable effect, and though the 
general appearance of a well-furnished Chi- 
nese room is somewhat disfigured by the 
angular shape of the furniture, the skill with 
which the different articles are arranged 
makes up to a great extent for the want of 
rounded forms and soft materials. 

Just as the Chinese show a genius for 
artistic landscape gardening, so in their 
rooms they display a taste in decoration and 



270 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



harmonizing colors which imparts an air of 
comfort and elegance to their dwellings. 
Carved stands, on which are placed diverse 
shaped vases containing flowering plants or 
shrubs, dwarfed into quaint and attractive 
forms, are varied and mingled with rockwork 
groups in miniature, while on the tables are 
disposed strangely bound books, and orna- 
ments of every shape and kind. 



rich men is the wood-carving which adorns 
the cornices of the rooms and the borders of 
the doorways. 

With that richness of ornament which be- 
longs to the East, fruits, flowers, creeping 
plants, and birds are represented by the 
artists in an endless variety of beauty, and 
through this fretted embroidery a cool stream 
of air circulates in the apartments. In any 




RELIGIOUS CEREMONY 

The walls are commonly hung with scrolls, 
bearing drawings of landscapes by celebrated 
masters, in which mountain scenery, falling 
water, and pavilions shaded by queerly 
shaped trees, form conspicuous elements. 
On others are inscribed the choice words 
of wisdom which fell from the lips of the 
sages of ancient China, written in black, 
cursive characters on red or white grounds. 



But one of the chief glories of the houses of with the four requisites for writing, viz. : 



IN A JOSS-HOUSE. 

but a hot climate the absence of carpets, 
tablecloths, and cushions would give an ap- 
pearance of discomfort, but with the ther- 
mometer standing at the height which the 
neighborhood of the tropics gives to it, the 
aspect of a Chinese room suggests a grate- 
ful and refreshing coolness. 

The studies of scholars have furniture 
peculiar to them. The table is supplied 



TKE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



271 



paper, pencil-brushes, ink, and ink-stone, 
while against the walls stand shelves on 
which, by a curious survival of the practice 
common in the libraries of Babylonia, the 
books are arranged on their sides, their 
lower edges, on which are inscribed the 
titles of the works they contain, being alone 
apparent. 

The following is a description of one of 
the Foos, or ducal residences, in Pekin. 

"A Foo has in front of it t\vo large stone 
lions, with a house for musicians and for 
gatekeepers. Through a lofty gateway, on 
which are hung tablets inscribed with the 
owner's titles, the visitor enters a large 
square court with a paved terrace in the 
centre, which fronts the principal hall. Here, 
on days of ceremony, the slaves and depend- 
ants may be ranged in reverential posture 
before the owner, who sits as the master of 
the household, in the hall. Behind the 
principal hall are two other halls, both 
facing, like it, the south. 

Internal Arrangements. 

" These buildings all have five or seven 
compartments, divided by pillars which sup- 
port the roof, and the three or five in the 
centre are left open to form one large hall, 
while the sides are partitioned off to make 
rooms. Beyond the gable there is usually 
an extension called the Urfang, literally, the 
ear-house, from its resemblance in position 
to that organ. On each side of the large 
courts fronting the halls are side houses of 
one or two stories. The garden of a Foo is 
on the west side, and is usually arranged as 
an ornamental park, with a lake, wooded 
mounds, fantastic arbors, small Buddhist 
temples, covered passages, and a large open 
hall for drinking tea and entertaining guests, 
which is called Hwating. 

" Garden and house are kept private, and 



effectually guarded from intrusion of strangers 
by a high wall, and at the doors by a numer- 
ous staff of messengers. The stables are 
usually on the east side, and contain stout 
Mongol ponies, large Hi horses, and a good 
supply of sleek, well-kept mules, such as 
North China furnishes in abundance. A 
prince or princess has a retinue of about 
twenty, mounted on ponies or mules." 

Facing South^vard. 

By something more than a sumptuary 
law, all houses of any pretension face south- 
ward, and their sites, far from being left to 
the mere choice of the proprietors, are deter- 
mined for them by the rules and regulations 
of Feng Shui. This Feng Shui is that 
which places a preliminan,' stumbling-block 
in the way of every Western improvement. 
If a railway is proposed, the objection is at 
once raised tliat it would destroy the Feng 
Shui of the neighborhood by disturbing the 
sepulchres of the dead. If a line of tele- 
graph is suggested, the promoters are 
promptly told that the shadows thrown by 
the wires on the houses they pass would out- 
rage the Feng Shui of the neighborhood 
and bring disaster and death in their train. 

In the minds of the people Feng Shui 
has a very positive existence, but with the 
mandarians, who are not all so grossly 
ignorant, it has been found that when state 
necessities require it, or when a sufficient 
sum of money is likely to be their reward, 
the terrors of Feng Shui disappear like the 
morning mists before the sun. The two 
words Feng Shui mean " Wind " and 
" Water," and are admittedly not very de- 
scriptive of the superstitution which they 
represent. 

So far as it is possible to unravel the in- 
tricacies of subtle Oriental idea, Feng Shui 
appears to be a faint inkling of natural 



272 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



science overlaid and infinitely disfigured by 
superstitution. As it is now interpreted, its 
professors explain that what astrology is to 
the star-gazer, Feng Shui is to the observer 
of the surface of our planet. The features 
of the globe are, we are told, but the reflex 
of the starry heaven, and just as the con- 
junction of certain planets presage misfor- 
tune to mankind, so the juxtaposition of cer- 
tain physical features of the earth are fraught 
with like evil consequences to those under 
their influence. 

The Dragon and Tiger. 

But, in addition to this, it is believed that 
through the surface of the earth there run 
two currents representing the male and 
female principles of Nature, the one known 
as the "Azure Dragon," and the other as 
the "White Tiger." The undulations of 
the earth's ^rface are held to supply to the 
professors of Feng Shui, aided as they 
always are by magnetic compasses, the 
whereabout of these occult forces. 

To obtain a fortunate site these two cur- 
rents should be in conjunction, forming as it 
were a bent arm with their juncture at the 
elbow. Within the angle formed by this 
combination is the site which is calculated to 
bring wealth and happiness to those who are 
fortunate enough to secure it either for build- 
ing purposes or for a graveyard. As it is 
obvious that it is often impossible to secure 
such a conjunction, the necessary formation 
has to be supplied by artificial means. 

A semicircle of trees planted to cover the 
back of a house answers all the purposes of the 
"Azure Dragon " and " White Tiger," while 
in a level country, a bank of earth of the 
same shape, surrounding a tomb, is equally 
effective. Through the mist and folly of this 
superstition there appears a small particle of 
reason, and it is beyond question that the 



sites chosen by these professors are such as 
avoid many of the ill effects of the climate. 

Many years ago, when we first settled at 
Hong Kong, the mortality among the soldiers 
who occupied the Murray Barracks was ter- 
rible. By the advice of the colonial surgeon, 
a grove of bamboos was planted at the back 
of the buildings. The effect of this arrange- 
ment was largely to diminish the sickness 
among the troops, and it was so strictly 
in accordance with the rules of Fensf Shui 
that the natives at once assumed that the 
surgeon was a past-master in the science. 

Again, when we formed the new foreign 
settlement on the Shamien site at Canton, the 
Chinese prophesied that evil would befall the 
dwellings, and " when it was discovered that 
every house built on Shamien was overrun as 
soon as built with white ants, boldly defying 
coal-tar, carbolic acid, and all other foreign 
appliances ; when it was noticed that the 
English consul, though having a special 
residence built for him there, would rather 
live two miles off under the protecting 
shadow of a pagoda, it was a clear triumph 
Feng Shui and of Chinese statesmanship." 

Barring Out Evil. 

In front of every house which is protected 
at the rear by the approved genial influences, 
there should be a pond, and the approach to 
the door should be winding, for the double 
purpose of denying a direct mode of egress to 
the fortunate breath of nature secured by the 
conditions of the site, and of preventing the 
easy ingress of malign influences. For the 
same reason a movable screen is commonly 
placed in the open doorway of a house, 
which, while standing in the way of the 
admission of supernatural evil, effectually 
wards off the very actual discomfort of a 
draught. 

With equal advantage a pair of stone 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA. 



273 



lions placed at the doorway of a. house which 
is unfortunate enough to be faced by a 
straight lane or street are said to overcome 
the noxious currents which might be tempted 
by the direct access to attack the dwelling. 

Temple architecture differs little from that 
of the houses, and varies in the same way 
from splendor to squalor, from gorgeous 
shrines built with the costly woods of Borneo 
and roofed in with resplendent glazed tiles to 
lath-and-plaster sheds covered in with mud 
roofing. In country districts, and more 
especially in hilly regions, Buddhists show a 
marked predilection for the most sheltered 
and beautiful spots provided by nature, and 
there rear monasteries which might well 
tempt men of less ascetic mould than that 
they profess to be made of to assume the 
cowl. 

Sumptuous Temples of Buddha. 

The contemplative life which they are in 
theory supposed to lead is held to tempt them 
to retire from the busy haunts of men and 
to seek in the deep ravines and sheltered 
valleys the repose and quiet which in more 
pubUc positions would be denied them. It 
says much for the charity of the people that 
out of their poverty such sumptuous edifices 
can be raised to the glory of Buddha. 

Many owe their existence to the benefi- 
cence of Emperors, and others to the super- 
stition of notables who, in the performance 
of vows, have reared stately temples to the 
beneficent avatars of Buddha who have 
listened to their prayers. The majority, 
however, are built from the doles secured by 
the priests from the wretched resources of 
the people. With indefatigable labor these 
religious beggars draw into their nets fish 
great and small, and prey on the superstition 
of the people for the glorification of their 
faith. 
18 



Sometimes, however, the self-denial is not 
confined to the donors. Devout priests 
arouse the zeal of their congregations by 
placing themselves in penitential positions 
until the building money is collected, and 
thus add to their claims on the people by 
appealing to their pity. Not long ago, a 
begging priest, zealous for the faith, erected 
for himself a wooden case like a sentn,'-box 
in one of the public thoroughfares of Pekin. 
Long and sharp nails were driven into the 
case on all sides from without, leaving their 
points projecting inwards. 

A Shrewd Beggar. 

In this case the priest took his stand, and 
declared his intention of remaining there 
until the sum required for building the 
temple for which he pleaded had been col- 
lected. The construction of the case made 
it impossible that he could either sit down 
or lean in any position which would secure 
him against the points of the nails. 

For two years he stood, or professed to 
have stood, in this impossible position, which 
was mitigated as time went on by the with- 
drawal of the nails, one by one, as the sum 
of money which each was held to represent 
was collected from the passers-by. 

For the most part the bridges of China 
are high wooden structures, such as those 
with which the willow-pattern plates have 
made us familiar, but occasionally, and espe- 
cially on the highways to the capital, sub- 
stantial stone bridges stretching in a series of 
arches across the streams are met with, care- 
fully wrought and adorned with all kinds of 
fantastic devices. 

A noticeable instance of a bridge of this 
kind is one which crosses the river Hwen 
on the west of Pekin. Though upwards of 
six hundred years old, its neighborhcod to 
the capital has secured its preservation. 



CHAPTKR XV. 
COUNTRY LIFE IN CHINA. 



OF the four classes into which the 
people of China are traditionally- 
divided, the first is that of lit- 
erati or scholars. These are 
those, who, having graduated at the Exami- 
nation Halls, are waiting in the often forlorn 
hope of obtaining official appointments. 
They have certain privileges attaching to 
their order, and are generally recognized by 
the mandarins as brevet members of their 
own rank. They have, under certain condi- 
tions, the right of entree into the presence of 
the local officials, and the law forbids that 
they should be punished or tortured until 
they have been stripped of their degrees by 
an Imperial edict. 

As it would be beneath the dignity of a 
graduate to take to trade, and as there are 
many thousands more of them than there 
are places for them to fill, the country is 
burdened with an idle population who are 
too proud to work, but who are not ashamed 
to live the life of hangers-on to the skirts of 
those who are better off than themselves. 

As a rule they are poor men, and the 
temptation to enrich themselves by means of 
illegal exactions is often too strong for the 
resistance of their feeble virtue. The 
glamour which surrounds their names as 
graduates, and the influence which they pos- 
sess with the mandarines, incline the people, 
who by long usage are accustomed to yield, 
to bow their necks unresistingly to their ex- 
actions. To the mandarins they are a con- 
stant source of annoyance. They arrogate 
to themselves the powers which belong by 
274 



right to the official class and absorb some of 
the illegal gains which, but for them, would 
naturally find their way into the exchequers 
of the yamuns. Being, however, no wiser 
than the rest of their race, they, though pos- 
sessed of all the learning and knowledge 
within their reach, show the same remarka- 
ble tendency towards superstitious follies as 
is observable in the most ignorant of their 
countrymen. It is difficult to read without 
a smile such memorials as one which was 
presented to the throne, at the instigation of 
some local scholars, with regard to the mi- 
raculous interpositions of the god of war in 
favor of the town of Kiehyang in Kwang- 
tung. 

The Bandits Frightened. 

"In 1844," runs this strange statement, 
"when the city was threatened with capture 
by the leader of a secret association, the 
banditti were affrighted and dispersed by 
means of a visible manifestation of the spirit 
of this deity ; and the efforts of the govern- 
ment troops in coping with the insurgents 
again in 1853, were similarly aided by the 
appearance of supernatural phenomena." 

As depositories of the wisdom of the 
sages of antiquity, the literati pose as the 
protectors of the national life. In his sacred 
edict, Kanghsi (1662— 1723) warned the 
people against giving heed to strange doc- 
trines, and thus gave new expression to a 
celebrated dictum of Confucius, which has 
guided the conduct of his followers in all 
matters relating to foreign religions and cus- 



COUNTRY LIFE IX CHINA. 



275 



toms. "The study of strange doctrines is i 
injurious, indeed," said the sage ; and in the j 
spirit of this saying the Hterati have at dif- 
ferent periods piersecuted the reHgions of 
Buddha and Laotsze with the same acri- 
mony which is now characterizing their ac- 
tion towards Christianity. 

To foreigners and all their ways they are 
implacable foes. The outrages on the Yang- 
tse-Kiang in 1891 were entirely their handi- 
work. Once only in the history of the Em- 
pire have they in their turn suffered persecu- 
tion. The same Emperor who built the 
great wall, and established for himself an 
Empire, sought to confirm his power by de- 
stroying the national literature, and by be- 
heading all those scholars who still clung to 
the traditions of their fathers. It is said 
that persecution strengthens the character 
and improves the moral fibre of its victims. 

A Race of Bigots. 

This persecution in the third centurj- B. C. 
may for a time have had such salutarv^ ef- 
fects; but, if so, all traces of these \'irtues 
have long been swept away, and China has 
become possessed of a race of scholars who 
for ignorance, bigotr)^, violence and corrup- 
tion are probably unsurpassed by educated 
men in any country calHng itself civilized. 

Under happier circumstances, the existence 
of this large body of scholars might be of 
infinite advantage to the literature of the 
country. With time to work and oppor- 
tunities for research they might add lustre to 
the writings of their countrymen and en- 
large the borders of their national knowl- 
edge. But the system of looking backwards 
for models of excellence, rather than for- 
wards, has so contracted the field of their 
labors, that those who write only add com- 
nientar\- to commentary' on works already 
annotated beyond recognition. 



Instead of striking out for themselves new 
grounds of investigation, they have deliber- 
ately chosen the futile task of perpetually 
fixing their eyes on a particular object in a 
particular way, with the natural result that 
their vision has become contracted and their 
minds moulded on narrow and pedantic 
lines. The mental activity of these men, 
not having, therefore, any power to operate 
in a beneficent way, exerts itself with unpre- 
cedented vigor and hardihood in local affairs. 

Infamous Placards. 

No dispute aiises, but one or more of 
these social pests thrusts himself forward be- 
tween the contending parties, and no fraud 
in the revenue or wholesale extortion is free 
from their sinister influence. The case of 
Chow Han, who instigated the anti-Christian 
crusade in Hunan, furnishes an instance of 
the overwhelming power which these men 
are occasionally able to exert. To him are 
due the infamous placards which were used 
to stimulate the outbreaks against foreigners 
at Wusueh and other places ; and when the 
crime was brought home to him, and the 
Chinese Cabinet, at the instance of the 
foreign ministers, ordered his arrest, not 
only did the viceroy of the province fail to 
comply with the command, but he actually 
released, at the bidding of the offender, a 
man charged with active participation in the 
riots. 

It is true that a futile commission was sent 
into Hunan to investigate the charges against 
him, but instead of bringing him to justice, 
the commissioners pronounced him mad, 
and recommended that he should be left un- 
trammelled, except by a mild system of 
super\'ision. 

In common estimation the workers of the 
soil stand next to the literati. From the 
earliest dawn of legendary history, agricul- 



276 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



ture has been regarded as a high and en- 
nobling calling. To Shennung, the divine 



2727 years B. C, is ascribed the invention of 
the plough and the first introduction of the 




A CHINESE PAGODA. 



husbandman, one of the legenaary emperors 
of ancient China, who is said to have lived 



art of husbandry. The connection thus 
established between the throne and the 



COUNTRY LIFE IX CHINA. 



277 



plough has been kept up through all suc- 
ceeding ages, and at the present time the 
Emperor, in the early spring of each year, 
turns a furrow to inaugurate the beginning 
of the farming season ; an example which is 
followed in every province by the viceroy or 
governor, who follows suit in strict imitatipn 
of his Imperial master. 

With the same desire to set an example to 
her sex, the Empress, so soon as the mul- 
berry-trees break into foliage, follows the 
gentler craft of pick- 
ing the leaves to sup- 
ply food for the palace 
silkworms. "Give 
chief place," wrote the 
Emperor Kanghsi, 
" to husbandr)'- and 
the cultivation of the 
mulberry tree, in order 
to procure adequate 
supplies of food and 
raiment ; " to which 
excellent advice his 
son added, " Suffer 
not a barren spot to 
remain in the wilds, 
or a lazy person to 
abide in the cities ; 
then a farmer will not 
lay aside his plough 

and hoe ; nor the ^ 

house-wife put away her silkworms or her 
weaving." 

These commands have sunk deep into the 
national character, and the greatest devotion 
to their calling, sharpened, it is true, by a 
keen sense of self-interest, is everj'where 
shown by Chinese farmers. From these men 
it is impossible to withhold the highest praise 
for their untiring industr>-. With endless 
labor and inexhaustible resource they wrest 
from the soil the very utmost that it is capa- 



ble of producing. Unhappily to them, as to 
other classes of the community, the law as 
it is administered is oppressively unjust. It 
makes them poor and keeps them poor. 

The principal imperial tax is derived from 
the land, and by the law of succession it is 
generally necessarj', on the decease of the 
head of the family, to subdivide his posses- 
sions, which thus become a diminishing 
quantity to each generation of successors to 
his wealth. Low grinding poverty is the re- 




CHIXESE CURIOSITi' SHOP. 

suit, and it is remarkable, though not sur- 
prising, to obser\'e the large number of 
crimes which are attributable to disputes 
i arising out of feuds in connection with the 
inheritance of the land and its products. 

Probably there is no potentate on the earth 
who can say as truly as the Emperor of 
China can "The Empire is mine." Not only 
the lives and propert>^ of his subjects are at 
his disposal, but the land which they till is 
part of the heritage which belongs to him. 



278 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



Just as he alone sacrifices to Heaven, and as 
he alone is the one Emperor over all the 
earth — in accordance with the dictum of an 
ancient sage, " There is one sun in the sky 
and one Emperor over the earth" — so he is 
the universal landlord of the soil of China. 
Although the Empire as a whole is thickly- 
populated, there are always some districts 
which remain uncultivated. 




CHINESE BABY IN ITS WINTER CRADLE. 

To find a parallel to the agricultural con- 
dition of the country, we must look to 
colonial empires, where settlers apply for un- 
inhabited lands, and receive the rights over 
them in exchange for small annual payments. 
This is the principle on which lands have 
been appropriated in times past, and still are 
leased out to farmers. As a rule, the land 
so let is taken up by a clan, the members of 



which cultivate it. Ten families constitute, 
as a rule, a village holding, each family farm- 
ing about ten acres. To such a community 
is allotted a common village plot, which is 
cultivated by each family in turn, and from 
which the tribute grain is collected and paid. 
The surplus, if any, is divided between the 
families. 

Towards the end of the year a meeting is 
held, at which a division of the profits 
is made on one condition. Any farmer 
who is unable to produce the receipt for 
the income tax on his farm ceases to be 
entitled to any benefit arising from the 
village plot. The land is classified ac- 
cording to its position and productive- 
ness, and pays taxes in proportion to 
the advantages which it enjoys. Two 
dollars and a half per acre is an average 
rental for the best land. It was once 
complained, in a memorial to the throne, 
that by faulty administration the tax 
frequently amounted to six times its 
nominal assessment. 

Five Harvests Free. 

By way of a set-off against that exac- 
tion, a merciful provision in the law lays 
it down that a farmer who reclaims lands 
from a state of nature shall be allowed 
to reap five harvests before being visited 
by the tax-collector. 

It often happens that an unjust gov- 
ernment, by timely concessions, gains for 
itself credit for wisdom and lenity when it is 
entitled to approval only for having had the 
wit to see exactly how far the people will en- 
dure the weight of its exactions. Such 
popularity is gained as easily as a spend- 
thrift acquires a reputation for generosity, 
and is enjoyed by the Chinese government 
by virtue of certain exemptions from the 
land-tax, which are granted when the country 



COUNTRY LIFE IN CHINA. 



279 



labors under aggravated circumstances of 
distress. 

When the Emperor passes through a dis- 
trict, it may be on a visit to the Imperial 
tombs, the people are required to contribute 
their labor, and the magnates their money, 
towards making smooth the way before him. 
The presence of the potentate disarranges 
the course of existence and the prosecution 
of industries in the neighborhood. Fields 
are left. unploughed and crops unsown until 
the tyranny is overpassed, and for the bene- 
fit of the sufferers the land-tax for the year 
is forgiven them. 

The Grain Tax. 

The same indulgence is granted to farmers 
in provinces which are visited with long 
droughts, excessive floods, or plagues of 
locusts. The probability is that the govern- 
ment, recognizing that the attempt to enforce 
the tax in such districts would be futile, has 
the wisdom to make a virtue of necessity. 
The grain-tax is also levied from the lands 
classified as "good," and this, with the land- 
tax, the salt-tax, and customs dues, form the 
main bulk of the revenue of the Empire. 
According to a recent calculation, these 
sources of revenue produce $99,375,000. 

In a country such as China, which is sub- 
ject to every variety of temperature, from 
tropical heat to almost arctic cold, the pro- 
ducts are necessarily as various as the sys- 
tems of agriculture are different. In the 
southern provinces, where rice is the staple 
crop of the farmer, irrigation is an absolute 
necessity. The rice plants are put out in 
fields inundated with water, and the crops 
are gathered in when the ground is in the 
same condition. This need makes it impera- 
tive that the fields should be banked in, and 
that a constant supply of water should be 
obtainable. 



For this last purpose the farmers exercise 
that particular ingenuity with which they are 
especially endowed. Wherever it is possible, 
streams from the hills are carried by aque- 
ducts to the different farms, and the water is 
distributed by minute channels in such a way 
as to carr>' the fertilizing current to the 
various fields and crops. When such sup- 
plies are wanting, water is raised from canals, 
rivers, and wells in several ways. By a sys- 
tem of buckets fastened to an endless chain, 
and passing over an axle, which is turned 
either by the feet of men or by a connecting- 
wheel worked by oxen, the water is raised 
from the river or canal to the level of the 
fields, where it is discharged into troughs at 
the rate sometimes of three hundred tons a 
day. This is the sakiych of the Eg\^ptians ; 
and should any traveller from the banks of 
the Nile visit the plains of China, he might 
recognize in the method adopted for raising 
water from wells the shadnf of the land of 
the Pharaohs. 

Irrigating Rice Fields. 

A long horizontal pole, at one end of 
which is a bucket, and on the other end a 
certain weight, is fixed on an upright in such 
a position that on raising the loaded end the 
bucket descends into the well, and with the 
help of the counterbalancing weight can be 
raised full of water with ease and rapidity. 
If the level of the river or canal be only 
triflingly lower than the field to be irrigated, 
two men standing on the bank and holding a 
bucket between them by ropes draw water 
wnth great rapidity by dipping the bucket 
into the stream and by swinging it up to the 
bank, where its contents are emptied into the 
trough prepared to receive them. 

In the north of the country wheat, millet 
and other grains are largely grown, the rain 
supply furnishing all the moisture needed. 



CHAPTTKR XVI. 
AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND EXPORTS. 



WHETHER in the north or in 
the south, the greatest care 
and ingenuity are used in 
• providing manure for the 
land. Nothing is wasted. The usual ani- 
mal and vegetable manures are carefully 
collected and spread over the fields, while 
scraps of all kinds which contain any ferti- 
lizing matter, and which in most countries 
are disregarded, are turned to account by 
these most frugal tillers of the soil. Accus- 
tomed as we are to large farms and ex- 
tended systems of agriculture, Chinese farms 
appear to partake more of the nature of mar- 
ket gardens than of agricultural holdings. 

The implements used are primitive in the 
extreme, and are such as, we learn from the 
sculptures, were used in ancient Assyria. 
Two only may be said to be generally used, 
the plow and the hoe. The first of these is 
little more than a spade fastened to a single 
handle by bamboo bands. As a rule, it is 
drawn by a buffalo or buffaloes, and some 
travellers even claim to have seen women 
harnessed in the same yoke with these beasts 
of burden. 

From the shape of the share the Chinese 
plow does little more than disturb the sur- 
face of the soil, and rarely penetrates more 
than four or five inches. In the compound 
character which is used to express it on 
paper, the use of oxen as beasts of draught, 
and the results which it is instrumental in 
bringing about, find expression in the three 
component parts — oxen, sickle and grain. 
The spade is seldom used, and the hoe is 
280 



made to take its place. Rakes and bill- 
hooks complete the farmer's stock-in-trade. 
The bamboo, which is made to serve 
almost every purpose, forms the material 
of each part of the rake; while the bill- 
hook has a treble debt to pay, serving as 
a pruning-knife in the spring, a scythe in 
the summer, and a sickle when the grain 
is ripe to harvest. 

An Ancient Calendar. 

One of the earliest works existing in the 
language is an agricultural calendar, which 
describes the various processes of nature and 
the industries of the agriculturist throughout 
the year. It warns the farmer when to look 
for the first movements of spring, and de- 
scribes for his benefit the signs of the differ- 
ent seasons. It tells him when to sow his 
seed, and when he may expect to reap his 
harvest; and it follows with the love of a 
naturalist the movements and habits of the 
beasts of the field and the fowls of the air. 

This work was penned in about the eigh- 
teenth century B. C, and since that time the 
dignity which attaches by tradition to agri- 
culture has led to the publication, from time 
to time, of large and numerous works on 
the subject. Probably two of the best 
known of these books illustrate the two 
leading branches of the farmer's art, the 
cultivation of rice and the growth of the 
mulberry for the food of silkworms. Every 
process in both industries is minutely de- 
scribed and illustrated. 

The glimpses which these pictures give us 



AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND EXPORTS. 



281 



of country' life in China suggest a domes- 
ticity and brightness which form a strong 
contrast to the fate of the poorer classes 
whose lots are cast in the crowded lanes 
and streets of the cities. 
Madame de Stael said in 
one of her books that 
she had travelled all 
over Europe and had 
met with nothing but 
men and women. We 
may extend the range 
to China, and may see 
in the pictures drawn 
in the above-mentioned 
work, of the farmyards, 
the dwellings, the kitch- 
ens, and the store-rooms 
of the silk producers of 
China, pleasing parallels 
to the brighter aspects of 
English agricultural life. 
The employment of 
women in arranging and 
managing the silkworm 
industry', gives an inter- 
est to their lives, and is 
a sure preventive against 
that languor which so 
often overtakes the un- 
employed women of the 
cities. The cultivation 
of silk can be traced 
back almost as far as 
the beginning of agri- 
culture, and up to the 
advent of the Mongol 
dynasty, in the tliir- 
teenth century, it flour- 
ished exceedingly. With the arrival, how- ' 
ever, of the hordes of Jenghis Khan came i 
the introduction of Indian cotton, which, I 
from its cheapness and utilit>', was speedily j 



preferred to the silken products of the looms 
of China. 

For four hundred years the industry was 
neglected, and continued to exist only in the 




A NATIVE CHIXESE MISSIONARY. 



provinces of Szechuan, Honan, Kwangtung 
and Chehkiang, where just enough stuff was 
manufactured to supply the wants of the 
government and the local consumers. A\"ith 



282 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



the establishment of the present Manchu 
dynasty and the arrival of foreigners, the 
demand for the material which had given 
its name to China all over the ancient world 
— serica — led to a revival of the industry, 
and at the present time silk is produced in 




A MANDARIN RECEIVING A VISITOR. 

every province in the Empire. In those 
northern districts where the cold forbids 
the growth of the mulberry tree the worms 
are fed on a kind of oak, while all over the 
central and southern provinces the mulberry 
orchards bear evidence of the universality of 



the industry. At Ning-po alone a hundred 
thousand bales of silken goods are turned 
out every year, and in most of the districts 
of Central China the people are as dependent 
for their livelihood on the trade as the peo- 
ple of England are on the production of coal 
and iron. The prefect of Soo- 
chow, desiring to take advan- 
tage of this widespread calling, 
proposed to levy a small tax 
on every loom. The result, 
however, proved that his 
power was not commensurate 
with his will. The people re- 
fused as one man to pay the 
assessment, and threatened to 
stop their looms if the tax 
were insisted upon. The 
matter was referred to Pekin, 
and with the cautious wisdom 
which characterizes the action 
of the government towards 
the people, the proposal was 
left unenforced. A crop as 
general, or even more general 
than silk, is opium. In eveiy 
province the poppy is grown 
in ever-increasing quantities, 
and in Yun-nan, one of the 
principal producing regions, 
the late Mr. Baber estimated, 
as a result of his personal 
experience, the poppy-fields 
constituted a third of the 
whole cultivation of the prov- 
ince. It is difiticult to deter- 
mine when the poppy was 
first grown in China, but the references to 
it which are met with in the literature of the 
eleventh and twelfth centuries confirm the 
fact that it was then cultivated, and that the 
same kind of cakes were made from the 
seeds of the plant as are now commonly 



AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND EXPORTS. 



283 



eaten in the province of Szechuan. The 
habit of smoking opium is of a far later 
date, and gave rise to a marked opposition 
to the drug by the government of the coun- 
try. But, like most Chinese enactments, the 
one forbidding the habit was only partially 
enforced, and it is certain that the practice 
of smoking opium had become confirmed 
among the people before the Indian drug 
was first imported. From that time until 
within the last few years the government 
showed a pronounced hostility to the trade, 
but stultified its professions by never effec- 
tually carrying out its own prohibitions 
against the growth of the poppy. 

Lovers of Opium. 

Several motives conduced to these results. 
The growth of the poppy not only brought 
large profits to the farmers, but filled the 
pockets of the mandarins, who, while pro- 
testing against the cultivation, accepted 
bribes to ignore the evidence of their eyes. 
Repeated Imperial edicts became dead let- 
ters in face of these opposing interests, and 
year by year the white patches widened and 
multiplied throughout the Empire. In a 
country like China, where the value of sta- 
tistics is unknown, it is difficult to arrive at 
any accurate idea as to the number of opium 
smokers in the country. 

In Szechuan it is reckoned that seven- 
tenths of the adult male population smoke 
opium. On the shores of the rivers and 
canals the practice is universal, and aflfords 
the people the same relief from malarial 
fevers that the peasants in the fens of Lin- 
colnshire derive from eating morphia. By 
all such people the native opium is the only 
form obtainable, and at Tiensin it is esti- 
mated that nine chests of native opium are 
consumed to one chest of the foreign prepa- 
ration. 



Since the legalization of the opium trade 
(i860) even the nominal restrictions placed 
upon native growers have been withdrawn, 
and the government has the advantage of 
deriving a large revenue from the crops. 
From the province of Kansuh, which is one 
of the poorest in the Empire, the tax on 
opium amounts to at least twenty thousand 
dollars a year, and this in face of the con- 
stant complaints published in the Pekin Ga- 
zette of the smuggling which prevails in that 
and other districts. 

The small compsiss into which opium can 
be packed encourages illicit traffic in it. 
Candidates for examination going to their 
provincial cities, merchants travelling from 
province to province, and sailors trading 
bet^veen the coast ports, find it easy to 
smuggle enough to supply their wants; 
while envoys from tributary states whose 
baggage by international courtesy is left 
unexamined, make full use of their oppor- 
tunities by importing as much of the drug 
as they can carry free of duty. 

Wholesale Smuggling. 

Some years ago, when an Imperial Com- 
missioner was entering the port of Canton, 
the custom-house authorities had notice 
given them that the commissioner's fol- 
lowers were bringing a large venture dis- 
guised as personal effects in their luggage. 
The question arose what was to be done, 
and, with the timidity common to subordi- 
nate officials, the provincial authorities de- 
termined to ignore the information they had 
received rather than offend so potent a mag- 
nate as the commissioner. By this derelic- 
tion of duty the customs were the poorer by 
some twenty thousand taels. 

So portable is the drug in its prepared 
state that in the provinces, where silver is 
not always obtainable, it is used as currency. 



284 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



and travellers are commonly in the habit of 
paying their hotel bills with pieces of opium 
of the value demanded by the landlord. 
This is not the place to discuss at length 
the effect of opium smoking on the people. 
The whole subject, however, is so sur- 
rounded with sentimental enthusiasm that 
a fact, however small, bearing on the ques- 
tion is worth recording. It is commonly 
said by the opponents of the trade that so 



lieve their sufferings. By deprivation they 
are cured for the time being of the habit, 
and in no instance have fatal consequences 
resulted from this Spartan method. 

Unmindful of the lesson thus taught, mis- 
sionaries are not unfrequently in the habit of 
attempting to cure opium smokers by ad- 
ministering morphia pills. That they effect 
cures by this means is very certain, but the 
doubt arises whether the remedy is not worse 




A MOUNTED MILITARY BOWMAN OF ANCIENT TIMES. 



pernicious a hold does the habit of smoking 
acquire over those who indulge in it that 
only by the use of palliatives can a con- 
firmed smoker be weaned from the habit 
without endangering his life. One fact dis- 
poses of this assertion. In Hong Kong 
jail, where opium smokers of every degree 
of habituation are constantly imprisoned, no 
notice is taken of their craving for the drug, 
and no remedies are found necessary to re- 



than the disease. The processes through 
which the opium has to go before it reaches 
the lungs of the smoker unquestionably de- 
prive it of some of its deleterious ingredients. 
When, however, opium is eaten in the shape 
of morpliia, the safeguards provided by the 
pipe are absent, and the man who gives up 
his pipe for the pill finds that his last state 
is worse than his first. 

Next to silk, however, the product which 



AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND EXPORTS. 



285 



we most nearly associate with China is tea, 
which proclaims its nationaUty by the two 
names tea and cKa, by which it is known 
all over the world. The English who took 
their first cargoes from the neighborhood of 
Amoy, know it by the name, or rather our 
grandmothers knew it by the name, by which 
it is known in that part of China. Te is the 
Amoy pronunciation of the word which is 
called clia in the central, western and north- 
ern provinces of the Empire. The 
Russians, therefore, who have al- 
ways drawn their supplies through 
Siberia, call the leaf r/i'a, while the 
French and ourselves know it by 
its southern name. There is rea- 
son to believe that the plant has 
been known and valued in China 
for some thousands of years, and 
in one of the Confucian classics 
mention is made of the habit of 
smoking a leaf which is popularly 
believed to have been that of the tea 
plant. But however this may be, 
it is certain that for many cen- 
turies the plant has been cultivated 
over a large part of Central and 
Southern China. At the present 
time the provinces of Hunan, Fuh- 
kien, Kwangtung and Ganhwuy 
produce the best varieties. From 
them we get our Souchong, Flow- 
ery Pekoe, Oolong, Orange Pekoe 
and green teas ; and it is in those provinces 
that the competition of the teas of India and 
Ceylon is most severely felt. 

No doubt the farmers have themselves 
principally to blame in this matter. The 
long monopoly which they enjoyed tempted 
them to palm off on their customers teas of 
an inferior kind. Trees which had long 
passed the normal period of bearing were 
robbed of their leaves to fill the chests sent 



to London and Paris; pruning was neg- 
lected, and weeds were left to grow apace. 
The inevitable nemesis followed, and now, 
when too late, the farmers are becoming 
conscious of the folly of their neglect. 

In ordinary times great care is taken in 
selecting the seed, and when after careful 
tending the seedlings have reached a height 
of four or five inches, they are planted out 
in the plantations in rows, two or three feet 




A CHINESE MERCHANT OF CANTON. 

apart. For two years the plant is allowed 
to grow untouched, and it is only at the end 
of the third year that it is called upon to 
yield its first crop of leaves. After this the 
plant is subjected to three harvests: namely, 
in the third, fifth and eighth months. 

The leaves when plucked are first dried in 
the sun, and the remaining moisture is then 
extracted from them by the action of nude- 
footed men and women, who trample on 



286 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



them, as Spanish peasants tread out the juice 
of the vine. They are then allowed to heat 
for some hours, and after having been rolled 
in the hand, are spread out in the sun, or, if 
the weather be cloudy, are slowly baked over 
charcoal fires. 

Among the wealthier natives the infusion 
is not generally made as with us, in tea-pots, 
but each drinker puts a pinch of tea into his 
cup, and, having added boiling water, drinks 
the mixture as soon as the full flavor of the 




COURTYARD OF A CHINESE HOSTELRY. 



tea has been extracted, and before the tannin 
has been boiled out of the leaves. By high 
and low, rich and poor, the beverage is 
drunk, and the absence of nervous affections 
among the people is strong evidence of the 
innoxious effect of the infusion in this respect. 
Not only is it drunk in every household in 
the Empire, but tea-houses abound in the cit- 
ies, in the market-places and by the highways. 
Like the London coffee-shops in the time of 
the Stuarts, the tea-houses in the cities form 



the places of meeting between merchants for 
the transaction of business and between friends, 
who congregate to discuss local affairs and the 
latest official scandals. Women only are, by 
social regulations, excluded from these hospi- 
tableplaces of entertainment, which commonly 
occupy prominent positions in the principal 
streets of towns. But where such sites are not 
easily attainable, Buddhist priests, with a fine 
disregard of the holiness of their temples, very 
commonly let off a portion of the precincts to 
enterprising tea-men. 
The form in which 
tea is exported for 
general European 
and American use is 
not that which is 
suited for land trans- 
port. In carrying 
goods by road cubic 
space is a matter of 
vital importance. 
For centuries the 
Chinese have sup- 
plied the Tibetans 
with tea in so com- 
pressed a form as to 
be readily portable 
by carts, on beasts of 
burden, or on men's 
shoulders. In these 
ways it has long been 
customary to carry bricks of tea across the 
mountain ranges which mark the western 
frontier of China; and when a demand for 
tea sprang up in Russia, hke circumstances 
suggested a like method. 

The principal place for preparing the brick 
tea is Hankow, where six or more factories 
are constantly engaged in the manufacture 
of it. Something has to be sacrificed to 
expediency, and it is incontestable that the 
Russians and other consumers of brick tea 



AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND EXPORTS. 



287 



lose in flavor what they gain by the smaller 
compass. The dust of tea, and therefore 
a poor kind of tea, is best suited for forming 
bricks, and even the inferiority thus entailed 
is increased by the process employed to weld 
the masses together. 

This is done by a method of steaming, 
which encourages an evaporation of both 
flavor and freshness, and when it has effected 
its purpose by moistening the dust, the mix- 
ture is put into wooden molds and pressed 
into the shape of bricks. It is left to stand 
in the molds for a week, and the bricks are 
then wrapped up separately in paper and 
packed in bamboo baskets, sixty- 
four filling a basket. As a rule, 
tea-growers are rich and well-to- 
do men, whereas the ordinary 
agriculturist is raised above the 
rank of a peasant, and has little 
to congratulate himself upon be- 
yond the fact that his calling is 
held up to general approbation, 
and that it inherits a record 
which is as old as that of the 
race itself. 

One of the largest products 
is straw braid from Northern 
China. This most useful class 
of goods found a place in the market after 
the opening of the port of Tientsin (i860), 
and rapidly commended itself to the foreign 
merchant. But just as in tea, so in this 
braid, the Chinese producers have grown 
careless of the quality which they present 
to their customers. The inevitable result 
of this course has followed, and at the pres- 
ent time the elasticity which characterized 
the earlier movements of the trade has 
ceased to be observable. 

Wool from the plains of Mongolia and 
the table-lands of Thibet, and tobacco from 
the southern provinces of the Empire, form 



considerable items in the list of exports, 
together amounting in value to 2,620,164 
taels. Arsenic also is produced in consid- 
erable quantities in the country, and al- 
though the home consumption is larger 
than might be expected, there is yet a 
surplus left for the benefit of foreigners. 
The native farmers use it with a freedom 
which suggests the possibility of danger, in 
protecting growing plants, and especially 
rice plants, from the insects which infest 
them. 

As an ingredient in the pastille which is 
used to smoke out mosquitoes, and in the 




CHINESE STUDENTS. 

manufacture of the tobacco which is smoked 
in hubble-bubble pipes, it is largely employed. 
To the tobacco it is said to impart a pungent 
flavor and an inWgorating tonic. Its prop- 
erty as a strengthening medicine is highly 
valued by doctors, who prescribe it largely 
for their patients. The absence of all legis- 
lation regulating the sale of drugs makes it 
easy for evil-minded jjersons to possess 
themselves of this and other poisons; and 
the gross ignorance of the Chinese, even 
the most highly educated, in all matters 
related to diagnoses secures a practical im- 
munity to poisoners. 



288 



CHINA: PAST AND PRESENT. 



It is true that occasionally cases of poi- 
soning by arsenic are reported in the Pekin 
Gazette, but almost invariably it is found 
that the murder is discovered, not by the 
recognition of the symptoms produced by 
the poison, but by the confession of the 
murder or his accomplices. When the un- 
ravelling of a crime depends on these coin- 
cidences, it is fair to assume that, in a great 
majority of cases, the offence is never dis- 
covered at all. 

The Luxuriant Bamboo. 
Like silk, the bamboo is a universal prod- 
uct in China, and the multitude of uses to 
which the shrub is turned justifies its eleva- 
tion to an equal rank of usefulness, so far as 
the natives are concerned, with that article 
of merchandise. Its use is incomparably 
more general than that of silk, and enters 
into the life of every being in the Empire, 
from the Son of Heaven to the scavenger in 
the streets. It grows over the greater part 
of the country in great profusion and in a 
number of varieties, and from the moment 
it first shows itself above the ground it is 
forced into the service of man. The shoots 
come out of the ground nearly full-sized, 
four to six inches in diameter, and are cut 
like asparagus for the table. Sedentary 
Buddhist priests raise this Lenten fare for 
themselves or for sale, and extract the taba- 
sheer from the joints of the old culms, to 
sell as a precious medicine for almost any- 
thing that ails one. The roots are carved 
into fantastic and ingenious images and 
stands, or divided into egg-shape divining- 
blocks to ascertain the will of the gods, or 
trimmed into lantern handles, canes and 
umbrella sticks. 

The tapering culms are used for all pur- 
poses that poles can be applied to in carrying, 
propelling, supporting, and measuring, for 



which their light, elastic, tubular structure, 
guarded by a coating of siliceous skin, and 
strengthened by a thick septum at' each joint,, 
most admirably fits them. The pillars and 
props of houses, the framework of awnings, 
the ribs of mat sails, and the handles of rakes 
are each furnished by these culms. 

So, also, are fences and all kinds of frames, 
coops, and cages, the wattles of abatis, and 
the ribs of umbrellas and fans. The leaves 
are sewn into rain-cloaks for farmers and 
sailors, and into thatches for covering their 
huts and boats ; they are pinned into linings 
for tea-boxes, plaited into immense umbrellas 
to screen the huckster and his stall from the 
sun and rain, or into coverings for theatres 
and sheds. The wood, cut into splints of 
proper sizes and forms, is woven into baskets 
of every shape and fancy, sewn into win- 
dow-curtains and door-screens, plaited into 
awnings and coverings for tea-chests or 
sugar-cones, and twisted into cables. 

Universally Used. 

The shavings and curled shreds aid softer 
things in stuffing pillows ; while other parts 
supply the bed for sleeping, the chopsticks 
for eating, the pipe for smoking, and the 
broom for sweeping. The mattress to lie 
upon, the chair to sit upon, the table to eat 
on, the food to eat, and the fuel to cook it 
with, are also derivable from bamboo. The 
master makes his ferule from it, the carpen- 
ter his foot measure, the farmer his v/ater- 
pipes and straw-rakes, the grocer his gill 
and pint cups, and the mandarin his dreaded 
instrument of punishment. 

When such are the uses to which the 
bamboo is put in the land of its growth, it is 
surprising that there should be any surplus 
for exportation. But the demand for it for 
ornamental and useful purposes in Europe 
is constant. 



BOOK II. 



(J[apan and the ^aparpei)e. 



CHAPTER XVII. 
EARLY HISTORY OF JAPAN. 



THE history of Japan commences with 
the conqueror who came from the 
isles of the south. According to 
the annals of the Empire, he was a 
native prince and lord of a small territory at 
the southern extremity of the island of 
Kiousiou. Obscure tradition attributes to 
him a distant origin : the birthplace of his 
ancestors, if not his own, is said to have 
been the little archipelago of the Liou-Kiou 
Islands, which forms the link between For- 
mosa, southern China, and Japan. 

Six centuries before his time, an expedi- 
tion from Formosa and the Asiatic continent, 
headed by a certain Prince Taipe or Taifak, 
had reached the shores of Kiousiou, having 
proceeded from island to island ; but it was 
in the year 660 B.C. that the first historical 
personage, Sannoo, whose memory is cele- 
brated under the name of Zinmou, makes 
his appearance. Although he was the 
youngest of four sons, his father had named 
him his successor from his fifteenth year. 
He ascended the throne at the age of forty- 
five years, without any opposition on the part 
of his brothers. 

An old retainer, whose adventurous life 
had led him to the distant isles behind which 
the sun rises, loved to describe to him the 
19 



beauty of their shores, on which the gods 
themselves formerly sought refuge. "Now," 
said he, "they are inhabited by barbarous 
tribes, always at war with one another. If 
the prince desires to profit by their divisions, 
their men of arms, however skilful they may 
be in the management of the lance, the bow, 
and the sword, being dressed only in coarse 
fabrics, or the skins of savage beasts, cannot 
resist a diciplined army protected by helmets 
and iron cuirasses." 

A Fleet of "War-Junks. 

Zinmou lent a willing ear to the sugges- 
tions of the old retainer ; collected all his 
disposable forces, placed them under the 
orders of his elder brothers and his sons, 
embarked them upon a flotilla of war-junks 
perfectly equipped, and, assuming command 
of the expedition, set sail, after taking leave 
of his home, which neither he nor his broth- 
ers were ever to see again. 

After he had doubled the southeast point 
of Kiousiou, he sailed along the eastern side 
of the island, keeping close to the shore 
after the fashion of the ancient Normans, 
making occasional descents, giving battle 
when he was resisted, and forming alliances 
when he found the nobles or chiefs of clans 

289 



290 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



disposed to assist him in his enterprise, thus 
showing a friendly spirit. 

It was evident that all this coast had been 
the theatre of former invasions. The popu- 
lation was composed of the ruling class, and 
serfs attached to the land. In some of the 
chapels of the national Kamis, stone arms 
are exhited, which were used by the primi- 
tive populations at the epoch when, under 
certain unknown circumstances, they came 

in contact with a superior civilization. 

» 

Armed With Bows and Arrows. 

When Zinmou made his appearance, 
walls and palisades protected the families of 
the soldiers and the masters of the country. 
The latter were armed with bows and long 
arrows ; a gr^at sword with a carved hilt and 
a naked blade, worn in the folds of the 
girdle, completed their equipment. 

Their richest adornments consisted of a 
chain of magatamas, or cut gems, which they 
wore hanging on the side above the right hip. 
Among these stones were rock crystal, ser- 
pentine, jasper, agates, amethysts, and to- 
pazes. Some were in the form of a ball or 
an egg, others cylindrical ; one a crescent, 
another a broken ring. The women had 
necklaces of a similar kind. It is said that 
the use of the magatamas has still some con- 
nection with certain religious solemnities in 
the islands of Liou-Kiou, and at Yeso, in the 
north of Japan ; and it is concluded thence 
that it must have been common to all the 
populations of the long chains of islands 
extending from Formosa to Kamtschatka. 

If this custom has disappeared from the 
central region of the Japanese archipelago, 
the cause of the phenomenon must be sought 
in the superior culture which characterizes 
the inhabitants of these countries, and which 
has led them to renounce the display of the 
family wealth on their persons. 



After a difficult voyage of ten months, 
interrupted by occasional brilliant feats of 
arms and by profitable negotiations, Zinmou 
reached the northeastern extremity of the 
island of Kiousiou. He was at a loss how 
to get further, when he discovered a fisher- 
man who was floating upon the waves, 
squatting upon the shell of a huge turtle. 
He hailed him immediately, and employed 
him as a pilot. 

Thus Zinmou succeeded in crossing the 
strait which separates Kiousiou from the land 
of Niphon, and coasted along in the direction 
of the east, operating with prudent caution, 
and leaving behind him no important point 
without having secured its possession. 
Nevertheless, as the native tribes continu- 
ally opposed him at sea as well as on land, 
he disembarked and fortified himself upon 
the peninsula of Takasima, where he devoted 
three years to the construction and equip- 
ment of an auxiliary fleet. 

Remarkable Conquests. 

Then he set out again, and achieved the 
conquest of the coast and archipelago of the 
Inland Sea ; after which he disembarked the 
greater part of his army, and penetrating into 
Niphon, he established his rule over the rich 
countries, intersected by fertile valleys and 
wooded mountains, which extend from Osaka 
to the borders of the Gulf of Yeddo. From 
that time all the cultivated countries and all 
the civilized peoples in ancient Japan were 
under the power of Zinmou. 

The conqueror inaugurated and established 
the preponderance of the south over the des- 
tinies of the Japanese people. Whether the 
race which ruled before him over the native 
inhabitants had been of Turanian origin or 
not, it also submitted in its turn to this last 
and decisive invasion, to which the Empire 
of the Mikados owes its ancient glory and its 




EMPEROR OF JAPAN. 



291 



292 JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE 

actual existence. It was the same old story 
of the strong subduing the weaker. 

It does not follow, however, that Japanese 
civilization was a simple importation. Zin- 
mou appears to have been in certain respects, 
especially that of religion, a tributary of the 
people whom he had conquered. The diverse 
elements with which he had to deal — the 
native clans and the Tartar emigrants, with 
the invaders who had come from the islands 
of the- south, the ancient nobles lately con- 
quered, and their new sovereign, who was 
won over to their favorite customs — were 
thus fused into one national body. 

The tribes which remained aloof from the 
pacific constitution of the Empire were the 
Ainos, who had been driven further and fur- 
ther towards the north, and the Yebis, 
dispersed during the strife of the invasion, 
and who lived in the forests on the products 
of hunting and rapine. 



Mixture of Races. 

But it would be vain to attempt an analysis 
of the various elements which have con- 
tributed to the formation of the national 
character of the Japanese. The civilization 
of the country appears to be the result of a 
combination of the indigenous and the foreign 
elements. There has been a mixture of races 
without an absorption of native qualities, 
among the islanders of the extreme east, and, 
as was the case among the islanders of Great 
Britain, the alliance has produced a new and 
original type. 

When the divine warrior Zinmou had 
accomplished his ambitious aims, seven years 
had elapsed since his departure from Kiou- 
siou, — seven years, accompanied with how 
much fatigue, suffering and trouble of every 
kind ! His three brothers had perished 
under his eyes : the first pierced with an 
arrow at the siege of a fortress; the two 



others victims of their own devotion to him, 
for they had thrown themselves into the sea 
in order to appease a tempest which threat- 
ened the junk of the conqueror. 

The sun had always shown itself favorable 
to his enterprises. To its divine protection 
it was due that he had not been lost in the 
dangerous defiles of Yamato. A raven, sent 
to him by the divinity at a critical moment, 
had guided him into safety. Thus he had 
added to his ancestral arms the image of the 
glittering goddess, such as she appeared to 
him each day when she arose above the 
horizon, and had it painted upon his banner, 
his cuirass, and his war fan. 



Feast of Thanksgiving. 

In the fourth year of his reign, when he 
had attained possession of uncontested power, 
he instituted a solemn feast of thanksg-iving- 
in honor of Ten-sjoo-dai-zin, The national 
Kamis had also their share in his homage. 
He ordained sacrifices in honor of the eight 
immortal spirits, protectors of countries and 
families, in order to celebrate the inaugura- 
tion of his royal residence, and to surround 
his throne with the prestige of that religion 
which was so dear to the peoples whom he 
had conquered. 

These things happened in the country of 
Yamato, which occupies the centre of the 
great peninsula in the southeast of Niphon, 
whose coasts border the Inland Sea and the 
ocean. There Zinmou constructed a vast 
fortress on a great hill. He called this castle 
his " Miako," or the chief palace of his States, 
and there he installed his Court, or Dairi. 
These two names have ever since been re- 
tained by the sovereigns of the Japanese 
Empire to distinguish it from their other 
residences. 

The sovereigns themselves bear the honor- 
giving title of " Mikados," or "august" and 



EARLY HISTORY OF JAPAN. 



293 



"venerable," without prejudice to the glorious 
surnames under which they figure in the 
annals of the nation after death. The na- 
tive historians frequently employ the word 
" Miako " instead of the proper name of the 
cit}-^ in which the Emperor resides, and that 
of " Dalri " in place of the title of Mikado. 

They say, for example, such and such a 
thing has been done "by order of the Dairi," 
instead of "by order of the Mikado." This 
custom is, however, common to the language 
of all Courts. 

The Emperor's Successor. 

As Zinmou had been raised to the throne 
by the free choice of his father, it was enacted 
that for the future the reigning Mikado should 
designate one among his sons to succeed him, 
or, if he had no sons, one among the other 
princes of the blood, according to his own 
choice, and without regard to the order of 
primogeniture. If the throne became vacant 
during the minority of the elect prince, the 
widow of the Mikado was to assume the 
regency of the Empire, and to exercise sov- 
ereign rights during the interregnum. 

Zinmou terminated his glorious career in 
the sixty-seventh year of his age, 585 years 
before the birth of Christ. He has been 
placed among the number of the Kamis. 
His chapel, known in Japan by the name of 
Simoyasiro, is situated upon Mount Kamo, 
near Kioto, and he is still worshipped there 
as the founder and the first chief of the Em- 
pire. The hereditary right to the crown has 
subsisted in his family for more than two 
thousand five hundred years, and is still 
maintained. 

The ancient race of the Mikados was 
strong and long-lived. Zinmou lived one 
hundred and twenty years ; the fifth Mikado 
lived one hundred and fourteen years ; the 
sixth, one hundred and thirty-seven years; 



the seventh, one hundred and twenty-eight 
years ; the eighth, one hundred and six 
years; the ninth, one hundred and eleven 
years; the eleventh and twelfth, each one 
hundred and forty years ; the sixteenth, one 
hundred and eleven years ; and the seven- 
teenth, who died in the 388th year of our 
era, attained the age of three hundred and 
eight years, or three hundred and thirty 
years according to the version of some his- 
torians. 

Selmou, the thirteenth Mikado, was ten 
feet high. The wives of the Mikados, who 
governed the Empire in the capacity of 
Regent, were equal in point of character to 
their venerable husbands. One of them, 
Zingou, A. D. 201, equipped a fleet, and, 
embarking at the head of a select army, 
crossed the Sea of Japan and conquered the 
Corea, from whence she returned just in 
time to give birth to a future Mikado. 

Internal Improvements. 

The progress of civilization kept pace 
with the aggrandizement of the Empire. 
From Corea came the camel, the ass, and 
the horse ; the latter animal is the only one 
which has been naturaUzed in Japan. 

The establishment of tanks and canals for 
the irrigation of the rice-fields dates back to 
thirty-six years B. C. The tea-shrub was in- 
troduced from China. Tatsima Nori brought 
the orange from " the country of eternity." 
The culture of the mulberry and the fabri- 
cation of silk date from the fifth century of 
our era. Two centuries later the Japanese 
learned to distinguish " the earth which re- 
places oil and wood for burning," and to 
extract silver from the mines of Tsousima. 

Several important inventions date from 
the third centurj^ : for example, the institu- 
tion of a horse post; making beer from rice, 
known under the name of saki; and the art 



294 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



of sewing clothes, which was taught to the 
Japanese housewives by needlewomen who 
came from the kingdom of Petsi, in Corea. 
The Mikado, enchanted with the first attempt, 
and wishing to go to the fountain-head, sent 
an embassy to the chief of the Celestial Em- 
pire to ask him for needlewomen^ 

In the fourth century the Da'iri built, in 
various parts of Japan, rice stores, intended 
to prevent the recurrence of the famines 
which had more than once . ravaged the 
population. In 543, the Court of Petsi 
sent a precious instrument to the Mikado — 
it was "the wheel which indicates the south." 
The introduction of hydraulic clocks took 
place in 660, and ten years later that of 
wheels worked by water-power. At the end 
of the eighth century a system of writing, 
proper to Japan, was invented, but from the 
third century the use of Chinese signs had 
been introduced at Court. 

Barbarous Customs. 

The obscurity in which ancient national 
literature is enveloped does not permit us to 
estimate its influence on civilization. It is 
all the more interesting to trace the bene- 
ficent action which the fine arts exercised 
upon the people. Human victims were im- 
molated at the funerals of the Mikado or of 
his wife, the Kisaki, and these victims were 
usually servants of the Court. 

In the year 3 B. C, Noniino Soukoune, a 
native sculptor, being informed of the death 
of the Kisaki, had the generous courage to 
present himself before his sovereign with 
clay images, which he proposed to him 
should be thrown into the tomb of his royal 
wife in place of the servants destined to the 
sacrifice. The Mikado accepted the offer of 
the humble modeller, and testified his satis- 
faction by changing his family name to that 
of Fasi, or "artist." 



The laws remained as they still are, more 
barbarous and cruel than the customs. For 
example, the punishment of crucifixion was 
inflicted on noble women guilty of adultery. 

A whole series of mcjisures admirably 
adapted for the rapid development of the 
genius of the nation, and for imbuing it with 
a true sense of its strength and individuality, 
is due to the political administration. In the 
year 86 B. C, the sovereign had census 
tables of the population made, and ship- 
building yards established. In the second 
century of our era he divided his States into 
eight administrative circles, and these circles 
into sixty-eight provinces. 

Names of Families and Titles. 

In the fifth century he sent an official into 
each province, charged with the collection 
and registration of the popular customs and 
traditions of every district. Thus the proper 
names of each family, and the titles and sur- 
names of the provincial dynasties, were fixed. 
An Imperial road was made between the 
principal cities, five in number, and the 
Mikado transported his Court successively 
into each. The most important, in the 
seventh century, was the city of Osako, on 
the eastern coast of the Inland Sea. 

In order to confer political union, and 
also unity of language, letters and general 
civilization, upon the country, a capital was 
indispensable, and this great want was sup- 
plied in the eighth century by the founda- 
tion of Kioto, which became the favorite city 
of the Mikado, and was his permanent resi- 
dence until the twelfth century. 

The city of Hiogo, whose secure and 
spacious harbor has been for years the centre 
of the maritime commerce of the Japanese 
Empire, is built on the coast of the basin of 
Idsoumi, opposite to the northeastern point 
of the island of Awadsi. . At Hiogo the 



f;imiiiiii 




EMPRESS OF JAPAN. 



295 



296 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 
Simonasaki discharge their his right hand his iron fan 



junks from 
cargoes from China, the Liou-Kiou Islands, 
from Nagasaki, and from the western coast 
of Niphon, and even of Corea and Yeso, for 
the supply of the interior and the east of 
Japan. From these, thousands of other 
junks transport the agricultural produce and 
objects of art and industry of the southern 
provinces of Niphon to the islands of the 
Inland Sea. 

The Venice of Japan. 

The great and ancient city of Osaka is 
only eight hours' journey from Hiogo. It 
is the Venice of Japan. The palaces of the 
nobility occupy the quays which stretch 
along the principal arm of the river. All 
the rest of the town is composed of houses 
and shops belonging to the trading classes. 
Only a few old temples, more or less dilapi- 
dated, are to be seen. One of them, at the 
far end of the eastern suburb, has been 
placed by the Government of the Tycoon 
at the disposal of the foreign Embassies. A 
citadel, a mile in circumference, overlooks 
the northeastern portion of the city, and 
commands the Imperial high road to Kioto. 

From the year 744 to the year 1185 of 
our era the city of Osaka was the residence 
of the Mikados. They were well pleased 
to dwell amid its energetic, laborious and en- 
terprising population, to whom the empire 
chiefly owed the development of its com- 
merce and prosperity. But this was no 
longer the heroic epoch, when the Mikado, 
like the Doge of the Venetian Republic, em- 
barked upon his war-junk, and fulfilled in 
person the functions of High Admiral. He 
was no longer to be seen inspecting his 
troops, borne upon a litter upon the 
shoulders of four brave heralds, or com- 
manding the manoeuvres from the summit of 
a hill, sitting upon a stool, and holding in 



Such had been 
the representation of him in former times. 

At Osaka, the Mikado, who had reached 
the height of riches, power, and security^ 
built a palace in the midst of a spacious park^ 
which shut him out from the tumult of the 
city. His courtiers persuaded him that it 
was requisite for the dignity of the descend- 
ant of the sun that he should be invisible to 
the great body of his subjects, and should 
leave to princes and favorites the cares of 
government and the command of the army- 
and the fleet. 

The Sovereign Secluded. 

The life of the Da'iri was subject to cere- 
monial laws which regulated its smallest 
details and its least movements, and the 
sovereign dwelt within a circle inviolable by^ 
all except his courtiers. Imperial pomp 
henceforth rarely became visible to the 
people ; who, deceived in their dearest hopes, 
weary of the arbitrary rule of favorites, ven- 
tured at length to raise their voices, and their 
murm;irs reached the ears of their sovereign. 
He did not convoke an assembly of notables, 
but he instituted certain bureaus, where the 
complaints of the people were registered. 

The courtiers, convinced that the dynasty 
of the descendants of the sun was in danger, 
carried away themselves and their Emperor 
to Kioto, a small town in the interior, on the 
north of Osaka. They succeeded in making 
this the permanent residence of the Mikados, 
and the capital, or miako, of the Empire. 

In abandoning the populous city, the great 
centre of commerce, of industry, and of in- 
tellectual activity, independent of the Dairi, 
they obtained the double advantage of 
cutting off all communications between the 
people and the sovereign and of moulding 
the new capital to their tastes, and for the 
convenience of their passions. 



EARLY HISTORY OF JAPAN. 



297 



Kioto is situated in a fertile plain, open to 
the south, and bounded to the northeast by 
a chain of green hills, behind which there is 
a great lake, called indifferently the lake of 
Oitz, or Oumi, the name of the two principal 
cities on its shores. It is said to offer some of 
the most beautiful v iews in Japan . The waters 
of a dozen rive/s flow into it, and give rise 
to the Yodo-gawa, which runs to the south 
of Kioto, and into the Inland Sea below 
Osaka. 

Canals in the Streets. 

Two affluents of the Yodo-gawa rise on 
the north of the capital, and flow beneath its 
walls, one to the east and the other to the 
west. Thus Kioto is completely surrounded 
by a network of running water, which is 
utilized in irrigating the rice-fields, in the for- 
mation of canals in the streets of the city, 
and also in the tanks in the Imperial parks. 

In the neighborhood of Kioto, rice, sar- 
rasin, wheat, tea, the mulberry -tree, the 
cotton-plant, and an immense variety of fruit- 
trees and vegetables are cultivated. Groves 
of bamboos and laurels, chestnuts, pines, and 
cv-press crown the hills. Springs are abund- 
ant. Thousands of birds — the falcon, the 
pheasant, the peewit, ducks, geese, and 
hawks of all kinds — abound in the countr}'. 
Kioto is famed for the salubrity of its climate. 
It is one of those portions of the Empire 
least exposed to hurricanes and earthquakes. 

The successors of Zinmou could not have 
found a more propitious retreat in which to 
enjoy the fruits of the labors of their ances- 
tors ; to raise themselves to the rank of 
divinities upon, the pedestal of the ancient 
traditions of their race, and to lose sight of 
the realities of human life. All these things 
they did so completely as to allow one of the 
greatest sceptres in the world to escape from 
their ener\'^ated hands. 



The descendant of the Kamis of Japan 
naturally became the chief of the national 
religion, which had no clerg)-. The Mikados 
created a hierarchy of functionaries, endowed 
with the sacerdotal character, and charged to 
preside over all the details of public worship. 
All the high dignitaries were chosen from the 
immediate and collateral members of the 
Imperial family. 

The same order of proceeding was ob- 
served generally in all that concerned the 
ser\'ice of the palace and the important 
functionaries of the Dairi. The chiefs of the 
civil and military'' administrations were 
gradually more and more alienated from the 
Court properly so called, and the latter took 
an exclusively clerical stamp. 

Rivalry in Building Temples. 

So the capital of the Empire ended by 
presenting a strange spectacle. Nothing was 
to be seen there which had reference to the 
army, the na\y, or the government of the 
country. All these were abandoned to the 
care of the functionaries employed in the 
\'arious services, and scattered about in the 
provinces. 

On the other hand, all the sects which 
recognized the supremacy of the Mikado 
assembled their own dignitaries within his 
city of residence, and all vied \\ith each other 
in building temples for their respective 
religions. Thus, Avhen Buddhism, imported 
by monks from China, had made sure of the 
protection of the Mikado by paying him 
homage under the title of spiritual chief of 
the Empire, it speedily surpassed all that 
had been done in the capital to the honor 
and glory of the Kami worship. 

The Japanese Buddhists endowed Kioto 
with the largest bell in the world, and with a 
temple no less unique of its kind. It is called 
the Temple of the Thirty-three Thousand 



298 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



Three Hundred and Thirty-three, which is 
exactly the number of the idols which it 



ones, placed upon their heads and knees and 
upon the palms of their hands. 




KIOTO, JAPAN. 



contains. In order to make such a prodigy 
inteUigible, it must be explained that the 
great statues support a multitude of small 



The temples or chapels of Kioto which 
belong to the ancient national religion still 
preserve to a certain extent the simplicity 



EARLY HISTORY OF JAPAN. 



299 



which distinguishes them in the provinces. 
Some are consecrated to the seven celestial 
dynasties of the native mj-thology, others to 
the spirits of the earth, and others to the 
divinit}^ of the Sun, Ten-sjoo-dai-zin, or to 
her descendants, the first Mikados. 

The Kami worship towards the end of the 
seventeenth century had two thousand one 
hundred and twenty-seven mias in Kioto and 
its suburbs ; but the Buddhist religion, in its 
different sects or ramifications, had no less 
than three thousand eight hundred and 
ninety-three temples, pagodas or chapels. 
There are no other monuments worthy of 
notice in this singular capital. 

Palaces of the Mikados. 

The palaces of the Dairi are numbered 
among the sacred edifices, both by reason 
of the style of their architecture and their 
purpose. They are enclosed within a circuit 
of walls occupying the northeastern portion 
of the city. Long lines of trees, of great 
height, which show above the distant roofs, 
give a vague idea of the extent and tran- 
quillity of the parks, in whose recesses the 
Imperial dwellings hide themselves from 
profane eyes and the noise of the cit}'. 

As it frequently happens that the Mikado 
abdicates in favor of the hereditary prince, 
in order to end his days in absolute seclu- 
sion, a special palace is reser\'ed for him, 
under such circumstances, in a solitary en- 
closure on the southeastern side of the Dairi. 

In the centre of the city there is a strong 
fort, whose ramparts are surmounted at inter- 
vals by square towers two or three stories 
high, intended to serve as a refuge for the 
Mikado in troublous times. The headquar- 
ters of the garrison of the Tycoon was 
established there in later days. 

The high dignitaries and functionaries, 
and the persons employed in the various 



residences of the Emperor and of his 
numerous family, may be counted by thou- 
sands. The number can never be e.xactly 
known, because the Court has the privilege 
of escaping the annual census. 

At all times the Japanese Government has 
occupied itself carefully %\'ith national statis- 
tics. In the holy city of the Empire, every 
individual is officially classed in the sect to 
which he declares himself to belong. In 
1693 Kjempfer reports that the permanent 
population of Kioto, exclusive of the Court, 
comprised 52,169 ecclesiastics, and 477,557 
lay persons; both one and tlie other were 
divided into twenty recognized sects, the 
most numerous of which included 159,113 
adherents, and the least numerous, which 
was a sort of Buddhist confraternity, 289 
members only. 

A Continuous Carnival. 

It must not be imagined that this enorm- 
ous development of sacerdotal life in the 
coital of Japan renders the city gloomy, 
or makes the public morals austere. Ex- 
actly the contrarj^ is the case; the stories 
and pictures which exist in Kioto, and record 
what it was in the days of its prosperity, 
produce the impression of a never-ending 
carnival. 

Let us suppose that we are reaching the 
holy cit>' at sundown. Our ears will be 
assailed by a concert of instruments. On 
all the hills, which are covered with sacred 
gloves, temples and convents, tlie bonzes 
and the monks are celebrating the evening 
office to the sound of drums and tambou- 
rines, copper gongs and brass bells. The 
faubourgs are illuminated with bright col- 
ored paper lanterns of all dimensions: the 
largest of cylindrical form, are suspended 
from the columns of the temples; the 
smaller, like globes, hang from the doors 



300 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



of the inns and the galleries of the houses. 
The sacred edifices and profane establish- 
ments, which participate in this illumination, 
arc so considerable in number, and so close 
together, that the whole quarter seems to be 
the scene of a Venetian/?/^. In the heart 
of the city a compact crowd of both sexes 
throngs tne streets, which extend from the 




GREAT BELL OF KIOTO. 

north to the .south, in the vicinity of the 
Dairi. The priests are there in great num- 
bers. Those of the Kami worship wear a 
little hat of black lacquered cardboard, sur- 
mounted with a sort of crest of the same 
color, and a small white cross. 

This curious head-dress has an appendage 
of very stiff ribbon which is tied behind the 
head and hangs down the back of the neck. 



It is the ancient national head-dress, which 
does not belong exclusively to the priests, 
but may be worn, with certain modifications 
prescribed by the sumptuary laws, by the 
nineteen officially titled classes of the popu- 
lation of Kioto. A wide simar, big trousers 
and great sword, which is probably only an 
ornamental weapon, completes the costume 
of the priests of the Kami temples. 

All the members of the Buddhist clergy, 
regular as well as secular, have the head 
shaven and completely bare, with the ex- 
ception of certain orders who wear wide- 
brimmed hats. The habit is generally grey, 
but there are sorr\e black, brown, yellow and 
red, occasionally diversified by a scarf and 
breastplate or a surplice. 

A Curious Rock. 

Kioto boasts of certain hermits, saints 
who have made choice of the capital to 
retire from the world. The grateful citizens 
transform the cells of these monks into little 
storehouses of abundance. The most mys- 
terious of them is cut out of the front of a 
rock, and inhabited no one knows by whom 
or how ; but baskets of provisions are lifted 
up by an ingenious pulley over a great tank, 
which separates the rock from the public 
road. 

The annual /"^/f.s instituted in honor of the 
principal Kamis of Japan have no other 
sacred rites than the ceremonies of purifica- 
tion, and were introduced about the end of 
the eighth century. On the day before the 
great solemnity the priests go in procession 
with lights to the temple, where the arms 
and other objects which belongs to the 
divine hero are kept in a precious reliquary 
called "Mikosi." 

According to clerical fiction, the Mikosi 
represents the terrestrial dwelling of the 
Kami — a kind of throne still preserved to 




o 

CO 



302 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



him in his earthly country — and each year 
it undergoes a radical purification. The 
reliquary is emptied and brought to the 
river: while a certain number of priests 
carefully wash it, others light great fires in 
order to keep away all evil genii ; and the 
Kagoura, or sacred choir, play softly in 
order to appease the spirit of the Kami, who 
is momentarily deprived of his earthly 
dwelling; nevertheless, they make no delay 
in restoring it to him, which is done by 
solemnly reinstating the relics in the reli- 
quary. 

As, however, the temple itself equally re- 
quires purification, the Mikosi does not re- 
enter it until this operation has been per- 
formed ; and during the entire /^/^, which is 
prolonged during several days, it is sheltered 
in a receptacle specially constructed for the 
purpose, and duly protected against evil 
spirits. 

Showers of Hot Water. 

Should those dread things endeavor to 
pass through the ropes of rice-straw which 
bound the sacred enclosure, they would ex- 
pose themselves to showers of boiling holy 
water, with which from time to time the 
dwelling of the Kami is sprinkled ; and 
woe to the evil spirits who should flutter in 
the air within reach of the Kami's guard of 
honor, for the priests who compose it are 
skilful horsemen and accomplished archers. 
The people applaud their evolutions, and fol- 
low with admiring eyes the arrows that they 
shoot into the clouds, and which fall within 
the enclosure of the holy place. 

Such are the ceremonies which lend a de- 
votional character to the festival. The in- 
fluence which Kami worship has had upon 
the development of the dramatic taste of the 
nation has not been produced, I need hardly 
say, by these puerile juggleries. The annual 



festivals have another and worthier side, and 
one educational in its character. 

The historical cortege, a great procession 
of masked and costumed priests, represents 
various scenes taken from the lives of their 
heroes. These theatrical representations in 
the open air were accompanied by music, 
songs and pantomimic dances. Thus the 
fine arts and poetry are made interpreters of 
national traditions, and the people flock to 
receive the patriotic instruction with avidity. 

Annual Festivals. 

Sometimes an exhibition of trophies of 
arms, or groups of figures in clay, reproduc- 
ing the features and wearing the traditional 
costume of the principal Kamis, was added 
to the entertainment. They were placed on 
cars or on platforms of pyramidal form, rep- 
resenting the building, the bridge, the junk, 
or sacred place illustrated by the heroes 
whose memory was celebrated. Originally 
these annual festivals, which were called 
Matsouris, were limited to a small number 
of the most ancient cities in the Empire. 
Eight provinces only had the honor of pos- 
sessing Kamis. 

But, from the tenth century, every province, 
every district, every place of any importance 
wished to have its hero or its celestial patron. 
Finally, the number of Kamis reached three 
thousand one hundred and thirty-two, among 
whom a great difference was made in favor 
of the most ancient. Four hundred and 
ninety -two were distinguished under the title 
of "great Kamis," and the others received 
the name of "inferior Kamis." 

Thenceforth, Matsouris were held in all 
important places in Japan, and from one end 
to the other of the Empire a taste for heroic 
recitals and artistic enjoyments, allied to the 
love of country and manly qualities, was dif- 
fused. 



CHAFn:"KR XVIII. 
THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE. 



A COMPLETE and graphic description 
of Japan and the Japanese is fur- 
nished by M. Aime Humbert, Min- 
ister Plenipotentiary to Japan from 
the Swiss Republic. M. Humbert had pecu- 
liar advantages for studying the land of the 
Mikado and its people, and he records his 
facts and observations in a manner that at 
once interests and captivates the reader. 
Speaking of the country and its surround- 
ings, he says : 

The Inland Sea of Japan is bounded by 
the southern coasts of Niphon, and the 
northern coasts of Kiousiou, and Sikoff. It 
is, however, more like a canal than a real 
mediterranean sea, being a communication 
established, at the height of the thirty-fourth 
degree of north latitude, between the Chinese 
Sea, or, more strictly, of the strait of Corea, 
on the western coast of Japan, and the great 
ocean which washes the southern and eastern 
shores of the same archipelago. The whole 
of the Japanese Mediterranean is sometimes 
known as the Sea of Souwo. 

Each of the provinces by which it is sur- 
rounded contains one or several "lordships," 
belonging to the feudal princes, who enjoy 
considerable independence, and generally 
derive large revenues from their estates. 

The Japanese Mediterranean, like the 
European sea so called, is divided into sev- 
eral basins. They are five in number, and 
are named from the most important of the 
provinces which overlook them, so that the 
Inland Sea bears five different names through- 
out its longitudinal course from west to east. 



In the midst of the natural wealth which 
surrounds them, the large, industrious, and 
intelligent population of the country parts of 
Japan have for their entire possessions only 
a humble shed, a few working implements, 
some pieces of cotton cloth, a few mats, 
a cloak of straw, a little store of tea, oil, rice, 
and salt ; for furniture, nothing but two or 
three cooking utensils ; in a word, only the 
strict necessaries of existence. All the 
remaining product of their labor belongs to 
the owTiers of the soil, the feudal lords. 

Temples Everywhere. 

The absence of a middle class gives a 
miserable aspect to the Japanese villages. 
Liberal civilization would have covered the 
borders of the Inland Sea with pretty ham- 
lets and elegant villas. The uniformity of 
the rustic dwellings is broken by temples, 
but they are to be distinguished at a distance 
only by the vast dimensions of their roofs, 
and by the imposing effect of the ancient 
trees which are almost always to be found in 
their vicinity. Buddhist pagodas, which are 
lofty towers with pointed roofs, adorned with 
galleries on each floor, are much less com- 
mon in Japan than in China. 

On entering the basin of Hiago, we came 
in sight of a town of some importance, on the 
coast of Sikoff; it is called Imabari. A vast 
sandy beach, which is rarely to be found in 
Japan, stretched back to a kind of suburb, in 
which we could discern a busy concourse of 
people, apparently carrying on market busi- 
ness. Above the strand were fertile plains, 

303 



304 



whose undulating lines were lost in the mist 
at the foot of a chain of mountains bathed in 
sunshine. The principal peaks of this chain 
are from 3,000 to 4,800 feet in height. 

Fortifications, or rather mounds of earth, 
behind which shone several banners, pro- 
tected the batteries posted in front of the 
port. Some soldiers, standing in a group 
on the shore, followed our corvette with 
their eyes. There was nothing remarkable 
in the aspect of the town, except the sacred 
palaces, adorned by gigantic trees. 

A Famous Prince. 

Some time afterwards we passed, within 
rifle-range, a large Japanese steamer, which 
our pilot, whom we consulted, and who 
judged from the colors of the flag, informed 
us was the property of the Prince of Tosa. 
His estates are situated in the southern por- 
tion of the island of Sikoff, and they bring 
him in a very large annual revenue. Most 
probably he was returning from a conference 
of the feudal party held in the city of Kioto, 
at the court of the Hereditary Emperor of 
Japan, and had embarked at Hiogo, in order 
to regain his own province by the Boungo 
canal. What were his sentiments on be- 
holding a strange corvette cleaving the waters 
of the Inland Sea ? Does he flatter himself 
that he can repel the civilization of the West 
by the arms which it places at his disposal ? 
Does he know whither steam will lead him ? 

A little before sunset we saw, on the coast 
of Sikoff, a feudal castle, remarkable for its 
picturesque site upon the summit and the 
sides of a wooded hill, at whose feet a rustic 
hamlet seemed to shelter itself under the pro- 
tection of the ancient lordly towers. It is 
the Castle of Marougama, the residence of 
Prince Kiogoko Sanoke, whose revenues are 
valued at ;^20o,ooo. 

The castles of the Daimios are generally at 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 

a distance from the town and villages. They 



are composed, in most instances, of a vast 
quadrangular enclosure, within thick and 
lofty walls, surrounded by a moat, and 
flanked at the corners, or surmounted at 
intervals throughout their extent by small 
square towers with slightly sloping roofs. 
In the interior are the park, the gardens, 
and the actual residence of the Da'imio, com- 
prising a main dwelling and numerous de- 
pendencies. Sometimes a solitary tower, of 
a shape similar to the other buildings, rises 
in the middle of the feudal domain, and rears 
itself three or four stories higher than the 
external wall. 

Imposing Edifices. 

As in the case of the Chinese pagodas, 
each story is surrounded by a roof, which, 
however, but seldom supports a gallery. 
All the masonry is rough, and joined by 
cement; the woodwork is painted red and 
black, and picked out with copper orna- 
ments, which are sometimes polished, but 
sometimes laden with verdigris. The tiles 
of the roof are slate color. In general, 
richness of detail is less aimed at than the 
general effect resulting from the grandeur 
and harmony of the proportions of the 
buildings. In this respect, some of the 
seignorial residences of Japan deserve to 
figure among the remarkable architectural 
monuments of the peoples of Eastern Asia. 

We anchored in a bay of the island of 
Souyousima, at the southern point of the 
province of Bitsiou, and at the entrance of 
the basin of Arima. We were surrounded 
by mountains, at whose feet twinkled many 
lights shining in from houses. The stillness 
was unbroken, save by the distant barking of 
dogs. Next morning, very early, we were 
ploughing the peaceful waters of the Ari- 
manado. This basin is completely closed 



THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE. 



305 



on the east by a single island, which divides 
it from the Idsouminada by a length of 
thirty miles. It is in the form of a triangle, 
whose apex, turned towards the north, faces 
the province of Arima, on the island of 
Niphon. 

This is the beautiful island of Awadsi, 
which was the dwelling-place of the gods, 
and the cradle of the national mythology of 
the Japanese. The low lands at its southern 
extremity' are covered with a luxuriant vege- 
tation, and the soil rises gently into culti- 
vated or wooded hills until they touch the 
boundaries of a chain of mountains from 300 
to 700 yards in height. 

Awadsi belongs to the Prince of Awa, 
whose annual revenue amounts to 38oo,cxx). 
It is separated from the island of Sikofif on 
the west, by the passage of Naruto, and the 
island of Niphon on the east, by the Strait 
of Linschoten. 

Dangerous Channel. 

Th^ greater number of the steamers which 
cross the Japanese Mediterranean from west 
to east, pass from the basin of Arima into 
that of Idsoumi, where they generally touch 
at the important commercial town of Hiogo ; 
and from thence they enter the great ocean 
by the Strait of Linschoten. That passage 
of Naruto which leads directly from the 
basin of Arima into the great ocean is 
shorter than the former ; it is, however, 
much less frequented, because it is consid- 
ered a dangerous channel for high-decked 
vessels. 

We saw the coasts drawing nearer and 
nearer to us, as we descended, towards the 
south-west comer of this triangular piece of 
land. At the same time a promontory of 
the island of Sikoff rose above the horizon 
on our right, and seemed to stretch continu- 
ously onward in the direction of Awadsi. 
20 



Very soon we found ourselves m a passage 
from whence we could distinctly see the 
beautiful vegetation of the coast of Sikoff 
and the coast of Awadsi. 

At length we saw the gates of the Strait: 
on the left, rocks surmounted by pines, 
forming the front of the island of Awadsi ; 
on the right, a solitary rock, or islet, also 
bearing a few pines, forming the front of the 
island of Sikoff. Between them the sea, 
like a bar of breakers, though the weather 
was calm : afar, the undulating ocean, with- 
out a speck of foam ; the tossing of the 
waves in the passage being solely the result 
of the violence of the current. 

Myriads of Birds. 

All around us, on the waves and at the 
foot of the rocks, were thousands of sea- 
birds, screaming, fluttering and diving for 
the prey which the sea, stirred to its depths 
by the current, was perpetually tossing up 
to them. Several fishing-boats were out, 
not on the canal — that would have been 
impossible — ^but behind the rocks, in the 
creeks of the little solitary islet and of Sikoff. 

Below Awadsi, the united waters of the 
two straits of Naruto and Linschoten form 
the canal of Kino, which washes the shores 
of the province of Awa, on Sikoff, and of the 
province of Kisou, on Niphon. We sailed 
for some time yet in sight of the latter ; then 
the land disappeared from our eyes, and we 
soon perceived, by the wide-rolling motion 
of the waves, that we were on the outer sea, 
in the immense domain of the great ocean. 

I occupied myself, during the whole eve- 
ning, in recalling the recollections of my 
journey; and I could find nothing out of 
Switzerland to compare with the effect of 
the beautiful Japanese scenery'. Since then, 
several Japanese, travelling in Switzerland, 
have told me that no other country awakened 



306 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



so vividly the remembrance of their own. 
Still more frequently I transported myself 
in fancy to one or other of the archipelagoes 
of the Souwonada, earnestly desiring the 
advent of that hour when the breath of 
liberty will give them, in the Far East, the 
importance which formerly belonged, in 
Europe, to the Archipelago of the Mediter- 
ranean. 

They cannot be blended into a general 
impression. Nothing is less uniform than 
the scenery of the shores of the Inland Sea. 
It is a series of pictures which vary infinitely, 
according to the greater or less proximity of 
the coasts, or to the aspect of the islands on 
the horizon. There are grand marine scenes, 
where the lines of the sea blend with sandy 
beaches sleeping under the golden rays of 
the sun; while in the distance, the misty 
mountains form a dim background. 

Japanese Scenery. 

There are little landscapes, very clear, 
trim and modest: a village at the back of 
a peaceful bay, surrounded by green fields, 
over which towers a forest of pines; just as 
one may see by a lake in the Jura on a fine 
morning in June. 

Sometimes, when the basins contracted, 
and the islands in front seemed to shut us 
in, I remembered the Rhine above Boppart. 
The Japanese scenery is, however, more 
calm and bright than the romantic land- 
scapes to which I allude. The abrupt 
slopes, the great masses of shade, the shift- 
ing lines, are replaced by horizontal levels; 
by a beach, a port and terraces; in the dis- 
tance are rounded islands, sloping hills, 
conical mountains. These pictures have 
their charms: the imagination, no less than 
the eye, rests in the contemplation of them; 
but it would seek in vain that melancholy 
attraction which, according to the notions of 



European taste, seems inseparable from the 
enjoyment. 

Laying aside the question of the pictu- 
resque, which is not the essential element 
of our relations with the Far East, I hope 
that, sooner or later, a chain of Western 
colonies will be formed at Japan, peacefully 
developing the natural and commercial re- 
sources of that admirable country, along a 
line marked by Yokohama, Hiogo, Simono- 
saki and Nagasaki. It might have a regular 
service of steamers. 

Fine Summer Resorts. 

The trading steamers of America, as well 
as those of China, might maintain the rela- 
tions of the two worlds with the King of the 
Archipelagoes of the Great Ocean. Euro- 
peans, weary of the tropical climate or the 
burthen of business in China, might seek 
pure and strengthening air, and pass some 
weeks of repose on the shores of the Japa- 
nese Mediterranean. How many families 
settled in China, how many wives and chil- 
dren of Europeans, would be delighted to 
profit, during the trying summer months, by 
this refuge, as beautiful and salubrious as 
Italy, and yet near their actual home ! 

But while imagination, forestalling the 
march of time and the triumphs of civiliza- 
tion, evokes the charms of a European 
society from the bosom of the isles of the 
Souwonada, I must acknowledge that I 
privately congratulated myself on having 
seen the Japanese Mediterranean in its 
primitive condition, while one may still 
"discover" something, and has to ask the 
pilots the names of the islands, the moun- 
tains and the villages, and to cast anchor for 
the night in some creek called "fair port" 
by the natives. 

Having doubled the southern point of the 
great island of Niphon, that is, the promon- 



308 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



tory of Idsoumo, situated at the southern 
extremity of the principality of Kisou, we 
sailed, during a whole day with the current 
which the Japanese call Kouro-Siwo, which 
runs from southwest to northeast, at the rate 
of from thirty-five to forty miles a day. 

A Pleasant Sail. 

The weather was fine, and the sea a shin- 
ing emerald-green. I passed many hours 
on the poop, in stillness and vague contem- 
plation. For the first time I enjoyed the 
pleasure of sailing. The silence which 
reigned on board added to the majestic effect 
of the ship, laden up to the summit of her 
masts with her triple wings of white. It was 
as though the fires had been extinguished, 
and the noise of the engines hushed, that 
we might present ourselves more respectfully 
at the gates of the residence of the Tycoons. 
But when night fell, the fires were lighted 
again, in case of accident; for the land-winds 
frequently cause much trouble to the ships 
in the Gulf of Yeddo. At daybreak, we 
came within sight of six small mountainous 
islands, which looked like signals set up at 
the entrance of this vast arm of the sea. 

The sun rose, and presented, amid the salt 
mists of the horizon, that image of a scarlet 
globe which forms the national arms of Japan. 
His earliest rays lighted up CapeTdsou, on 
the mainland of Niphon, whilst in the east 
we beheld the smoke of the two craters of 
the island of Ohosima. At the head of a 
bay in the promontory of Idsou is situated 
the town of Simoda, the first, but the least 
important of the commercial places to which 
w^e come when sailing up the Gulf of Yeddo. 
The Americans obtained an authorization to 
found an establishment there in 1854. Some 
time afterwards the harbor of Simoda was 
destroyed by an earthquake, and no mention 
was made of that place in the treaties of 1 858. 



A number of fishing-boats are to be seen 
on the coast, and several three-masted vessels 
are going to the mainland of Niphon and the 
surrounding islands. The scene is full of 
life, and sparkling with brilliant and harmo- 
nious color ; the wide sky is a splendid 
azure ; the pale green sea has no longer the 
sombre hues of the great deeps, but shines 
with the limpid brightness which character- 
izes it upon the rocky coasts of Japan. The 
isles are decked in the brilliant foliage of the 
spring; the harsh brown of the rocks is 
streaked with shades of ochre ; and the white 
sails of the native barques, the snow-crests 
of Myakesima, and the smoke from the 
craters of Ohosima, complete the beautiful 
marine scene. 

The " Matchless Mountain." 
Having reached the " Bay of the Missis- 
sippi," we made out, for the first time, the 
summit of Fousi-yama, the " Matchless 
Mountain," an extinct volcano 12,450 feet 
above the level of the sea. It is fifty nautical 
miles from the coast, on the west of the bay, 
and except for the chain of the Akoni hills 
at its base, completely isolated. 

The effect of this immense solitary pyramid, 
covered with eternal snow, surpasses descrip- 
tion. It lends inexpressible solemnity to the 
scenery of the Bay of Yeddo, already more 
sombre than that of the gulf, by reason of the 
closer proximity of the shores, the somewhat 
sandy hue of the sea-water, and the immense 
quantity of cedars, pines, and other dark- 
foliaged trees which crown the crests of all 
the hills along the coast. 

At length we double • Point Treaty, a 
picturesque promontory where the conven- 
tion between Commodore Perry and the 
Commissioners of the Tycopn was signed; 
and all of a sudden, behind this promontory, 
we see the quays and the city of Yokohama 




GREAT BRONZE STATUE OF BUDDHA KAMAKURA. JAPAN. 



THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE. 



309 



stretching along a marshy beach, bounded 
on the south and west by a ring of wooded 
hills. A score of ships of war, and merchant 
vessels, English, Dutch, French, and Ameri- 
can, are lying out in the roads, almost oppo- 
site the " foreign quarter," which may easily 
be recognized by its white houses and con- 
sular flags. Native junks are lying at anchor 
at some distance from the jetties of the port 
and the store houses of the Custom House. 
We pass by these slowly, and steam at half 
speed in front of the Japanese city, in which 
all the houses, except a certain number of 
shops, are built of wood, and seem to have 
only one story above the ground floor. 

Named From a Sea-Goddess. 

When we had come opposite to the Benten 
quarter, situated at the extremity of the beach 
of Yokohama, and at the mouth of a wide 
river, our corvette anchored. 

That portion of the Japanese city of Yoko- 
hama which is called Benten derives its name 
from a sea-goddess, who is worshipped ia an 
island situated to the northwest of our resi- 
dence. Before the arrival of the Europeans, 
this sacred place was surrounded only by a 
small town, in which dwelt fishermen and 
agriculturists, separated by a swamp from 
the not less modest little town of Yokohama. 
Now, quays, streets, modern buildings, have 
invaded the entire space which extends from 
the promontory- of the " Treaty " to the 
river, from which we are divided only by 
a range of Japanese barracks and a guard- 
house. 

Among the streets which extend to the 
sea-beach from Benten, there is one shaded 
by a plantation of firs; and on passing 
through the municipal barrier which the 
police keep open during the day and shut at 
night, the stranger finds himself in front 
of a long avenue of fir trees, headed by a 



sacred gate called a Tori. It is composed of 
two pillars slightly inclined towards each 
other ; so that they would meet at last at an 
acute angle, if at a certain elevation their 
pyramidal development were not checked ; 
and joined by two horizontal transverse 
beams, of which the uppermost is the thicker, 
and is curved upwards at both ends. 

The tori invariably announces the vicinity 
of a temple, a chapel, or a sacred place of 
some sort. A grotto, a waterfall, a gigantic 
tree, a fantastic rock, all things which we 
prosaically call natural curiosities, a Japanese 
regards with pious veneration or with super- 
stitious fear, according to whether he be more 
or less governed by the Buddhist demon- 
ology ; and the bonzes of the country, priestly 
attendants of the temples, never fail to give 
tangible form to this popular tendency, by 
erecting a tori close to each remarkable 
place. 

Avenue of Trees. 

The pine trees in the Benten avenue are 
lofty, slender and for the most part bent by 
the continuous action of the sea-breezes. 
At regular distances long poles are nailed 
upon them crosswise, on which, on festival 
days, the bonzes hang inscriptions, wreaths 
and swinging banners. 

The avenue ends in a second tori, which, 
with due regard to perspective, is not so 
lofty as the first. On approaching it, one is 
surprised to find that the avenue makes a 
sudden bend and prolongs itself on the right. 
Here all is mystery; a waste ground, cov- 
ered with rank grasses, bushes and slender 
pines with aerial foliage; on the left, the 
calm transparent water of a Uttle gulf formed 
by an arm of the river; in front is a wooden 
bridge, built in a style of severe elegance, 
wide and excessively curved; behind this 
bridge is a third tori, thrown out against 



310 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



the thick foliage of a grove of fine trees. 
The whole forms a strange picture, with 
something in it that excites a secret appre- 
hension. 

This bridge, whose pillars are decorated 
with ornaments in copper, finally admits us 
to the sacred place. The third tori, bearing 
on its summit an inscription in gold letters on 



kneel who come to worship before the altar 
of the goddess. 

Should the temple be empty, one of the 
bonzes in attendance may be summoned by 
shaking a long strip of woolen stuff that 
hangs beside the entrance, with a bunch of 
pebbles attached to it. The bonze comes 
out of his retreat immediately, and proceeds, 





VIEW OF YOKOHAMA. 



a black ground, is entirely built of fine 
granite of remarkable whiteness ; and the 
tombs, which are tastefully disposed on the 
left side of the avenue, are constructed of 
the same material. The temple, almost en- 
tirely hidden by the branches of the cedars 
and pines which surround it, faces us ; but 
the mysterious gloom hardly permits us to 
discern the flight of steps on which the people 



according to the requirements of the visitor, 
to give him advice, to distribute tapers or 
amulets, to undertake to recite prayers, in 
fact to perform any of the ceremonies of 
worship ; — of course for the consideration of 
a fee. 

As a Japanese, before he presents himself 
at the sanctuary, must wash and dry his 
hands and face, in a small chapel, at some 



THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE. 



311 



distance from the temple, on the right, is a 
basin containing the holy water intended for 
ablutions, and napkins of silk crape sus- 
pended on a roller, like the hand-towels in a 
sacrist>^ One of two chapels close by con- 
tains the big drum which ser\'es the purpose 
of a bell for the temple, the other the volun- 
tary offerings of the faithful. The bonzes 
who serve the temple of Benton do not 
appear to live in opulence. Their attire is 
generally dirty and neglected ; and the ex- 
pression of their faces is stupid, sullen, and 
malevolent towards strangers, who are glad 
to keep at a respectful distance from these 
holy persons. 

A Singular Orchestra. 
I had only one opportunit}' of seeing them 
officiate ; it was on the occasion of a proces- 
sion on their local festival day. On ordinary 
days, it appears, that they merely give 
audiences ; and I have rarely seen men resort 
to their ministrations. Their habitual clients 
are peasant women, fishermen, and casual 
pilgrims. But I have frequently heard, at 
sunset, the beating of the tambourines, 
which, except at great solemnities, form the 
whole orchestra of the temple of Benten. 

The bonzes perform interminable music 
on this monstrous instrument, always in the 
same rhythm ; four equal loud notes, followed 
by four equal deep notes, and so on, for 
hours together, probably the length of time 
required for driving away the evil influences. 
Nothing can exceed the melancholy impres- 
sion produced by this deep-sounding noise, 
when, in the silence of the night, it blends 
with the sighing of the great cedar-trees 
and the booming of the sea. It oppresses 
one like a nightmare. But indeed it may 
be said that the religion which finds expres- 
sion in such customs weighs on the mind of 
the people like a dream, full of uneasiness 



and vague terror and destitute of every ele- 
ment of good cheer and hope. 

Far from being natural religion, paganism 
is the enemy of human nature, the religion 
of denaturalized man ; and thence it is that, 
.seen in action, it fills one with an indescrib- 




JAP.\XESE BONZE. 

able pain, an instinctive repulsion which 
seems to me to come from that especial 
characteristic, rather than to be the effect of 
our Christian education. 

The obligatory accompaniments of the 
Japanese temples are tea-houses or restau- 
rants, at which tea is principally supplied, 



312 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



but where saki, a fermented and highly in- 
toxicating drink, may be had. The eatables 
are fruits, fish, rice or wheaten cakes ; and 
everyone smokes. The pipes are metal ; the 
tobacco is very finely cut, and free from all 
narcotic admixture : opium-smoking is un- 
known in Japan. These establishments, 
where women are the attendants, and where 
external propriety is strictly observed, are, 
for the most part, immoral. This is espe- 
cially the case in respect to those which are 
situated in the vicinity of the toris at Ben- 
ten, a circumstance which probably dates 
from a period at which the little island dedi- 
cated to the patroness of the sea still at- 
tracted a considerable number of pilgrims. 

Residences of Officials. 

At present the altar of the goddess is 
singularly neglected ; but there is a great 
military station in the neighborhood, with 
which the rule of the Tycoon — that of the 
sword — has endowed the city of Yokohama. 
It occupies the entire space between the 
island of Benten and our dwelling. 

The quarter of the "Yakounines" is com- 
posed of the residences of government 
officers employed in the Customs, of the 
harbor police and that of other public places, 
of the Military Instruction, of the guard of 
the Japanese city, and the superintendents of 
the "free quarter." 

The Yakounines have no outward and 
visible sign of their functions except a large 
pointed hat of lacquered pasteboard, and two 
swords passed through the girdle on the left 
side: one of these is large and two-handled; 
the other, a kind of blade intended for single 
comb?t, is small. These are the only war- 
like po'Pts in the equipment of these func- 
tionaries. They number several hundreds, 
they are almost all married, each has his 
separate lodging, and all seem to be placed 



on a footing of equality in this respect. It 
is not uninteresting to study the means 
which the Government of the Tycoon has 
adopted for organizing this army of func- 
tionaries into a kind of camp, while retain- 
ing their domestic surroundings. This has. 
been effected to a certain extent by the ap- 
plication of the cellular system to family 
life. 

Let the reader picture to himself a collec- 
tion of wooden buildings, forming a long 
square, a lofty wooden wall towards the 
street ; low doors at regular intervals, each 
giving access to a court, which contains a. 
small garden, a water cistern, a kitchen and 
other offices. Across the yard, on the 
ground floor, lies a spacious cell, which may 
be subdivided into two or three rooms by 
means of sliding partitions ; the court and 
the cell comprise the lodging of a Yakou- 
nine family. 

Deserted Streets. 

Each of the long blocks of which the 
streets in this quarter are composed encloses 
at least a dozen of these dwellings, six 
ranged side by side, and then six back to 
back with the others. The cells are all 
roofed with green tiles, and no roof is more 
lofty than another. The Yakounine quarter 
is a triumph of straight lines and uniformity. 
The streets are generally empty, because the 
men pass the greater part of the day at the 
Custom House or the guard-houses ; and 
during the absence of its head, every family 
keeps itself within its narrow enclosure. 
Even the door, which is so low that one 
must stoop to pass through, is generally 
shut during this time of seclusion. 

This custom is, however, in one way> 
analogousto the precaution with which Turk- 
ish jealousy surrounds women. It arises 
from the position which Japanese habits as- 



THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE. 



313 



sign to the fathers of families. In each, his 
wife beholds her lord and master. In his 
presence she attends to her domestic duties 
with perfect ease and simplicity, caring noth- 
ing for the presence of a stranger. In his 
absence she observes an extreme reserve, 
which we might be tempted to attribute to 
modesty, but which is more truthfully ex- 
plained by the dependence and intimidation 
imposed on her by marriage. 

Custom of Giving Presents. 

By degrees neighborly relations were 
established between our residences and the 
Yakounine quarter. In Japan, as elsewhere, 
small presents encourage friendship. We 
sent some white sugar and some Java coffee 
to certain families where we learned there 
were sick persons, or women in childbed, 
and these small offering were gratefully re- 
ceived. 

One day, when I was alone in the house, 
between four and five o'clock in the after- 
noon, the Mowban came to announce the 
arrival of a feminine deputation from the 
Yakounine quarter, and to ask me whether 
he should send them away. These ladies 
had been authorized by their husbands to 
make their acknowledgments in person, but 
they had profited by the opportunity to ex- 
press their wish to examine our European 
furniture. I told the porter that I would 
gladly undertake to do the honors of the 
house to them. 

Presently I heard the clicking of a number 
of wooden shoes on the gravel walk in the 
garden, and, looking towards the foot of the 
verandah staircase in front of the saloon, I 
saw a group of smiling faces, among which 
I distinguished four married women, two 
young girls, and several children of all ages. 
The former were remarkable for the plainness 
of their dress ; no ornament in the hair, no 



light stuffs or bright colors in their garments, 
no paint on their faces, but their teeth 
painted as black as ebony, as is becoming to 
all married women, according to Japanese 
ideas. 

The young girls, on the contrarj', show 
ofT the natural whiteness of their teeth by a 
layer of carmine on their lips, put rouge on 
their cheeks, braid their thick hair with strips 
of scarlet crape, and wear wide girdles of 
many colors. The children's dress is simply 
a plain garment and a striped sash ; they 
never wear any head-dress, and their heads 
are shaven, except a few locks, some hang- 
ing loose, others tied together and arranged 
as a chignon. 

Removed Their Shoes. 

After the customarj' salutations, the ora- 
tors of the deputation — for three or four 
always spoke simultaneously — said many 
pretty things to me in Japanese, to which I 
replied in French, while I made signs to the 
company to enter the drawing-room. It was 
quite clear that they had understood me ; I 
could not mistake the expression of thanks; 
and yet, instead of ascending the staircase, 
they seemed to be asking me for an explana- 
tion of some sort. At length my fair friends 
perceived my embarrassment, and, by add- 
ing gestures to language, asked me. " Ought 
we to take off our shoes in the garden, or 
will it suffice if we take them off in the 
veranda ? " 

I pronounced in favor of the latter alter- 
native, and my guests immediately ascended 
the stairs, removed their shoes and placed 
them in a line upon the floor, and then glee- 
fully trod the carpets of the drawing-room — 
the children with bare feet, the grown-up 
persons in socks made of cotton-cloth, 
divided into tvvo unequal compartments, one 
for the great toe, and the other for the rest 



314 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



of the foot. This is another peculiarity of 
Japanese dress. 

Their first impression was innocent admira- 
tion, to which general laughter succeeded 
when they all found themselves reflected at 
full length and on all sides, in the long 
mirrors which came down to the floor. 
While the younger members of the party 
indulged themselves in unwearied contem- 
plation of a scene at once so novel and so 




JAPANESE AT TEA. 

attractive, the matrons asked me the mean- 
ing of the pictures which adorned the room. 
I explained that they represented the Tycoon 
of Holland and his wife, and also several 
great Daimois, or princes of the reigning 
family. 

They bowed respectfully, but one of them, 
whose curiosity was not satisfied, said, timidly, 
that she supposed they had also taken the 
portrait of his Dutch Majesty's groom. I 



took care not to undeceive her, because she 
would not have understood that it could be 
correct to represent a prince standing beside 
his saddle-horse and holding it by the bridle. 
Others, having attentively examined the vel- 
vet sofas and arm-chairs, told me how a dis- 
pute had arisen between them respecting the 
use of those articles of furniture. 

They agreed as to the easy chairs ; it was, 
no doubt, intended that they should be sat 
upon — but the sofas ? 
Surely one ought to 
squat on them with 
crossed legs, especi- 
ally when eating at 
the table in front of 
them. They sincere- 
ly pitied the gentle- 
men and ladies of the 
West, condemned to 
make such inconve- 
nient use of these ar_ 
tides, and actually to 
sit with their legs 
hanging down. My 
room, being open 
and on the same 
level, was speedily 
invaded, and almost 
everything in it was 
a subject of aston- 
ishment to my visi- 
tors, who were none 
the less daughters of Eve because they were 
born in Japan. They were particularly de- 
lighted with a set of uniform buttons bearing 
the Swiss federal cross, according to the 
military rule of my country. I had to give 
them some of these buttons, though I could 
not imagine to what use they could possibly 
apply them, since all Japanese garments, for 
the use of both sexes are simply fastened by 
silken strings. 



THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE. 



315 



The gift of a few articles of Parisian per- 
fumery was highly appreciated, but I praised 
Eau de Cologne quite unsuccessfully. Cam- 
bric handkerchiefs are unknown in Japan. I 
showed them some specimens, very prettily 
embroidered by the gentlewomen of Appen- 
zell ; but they explained to me that, though 
the gentility of Tokio might perhaps use 
them as cuffs for their wide and flowing 
night-robes, not the lowest woman of the 
people would hold in her hand or carry in 
her pocket a piece of stuff in which she had 
blown her nose. There is, therefore, no 
chance at present that the little squares 
of paper, made from vegetable substances, 
which they carry in a fold of the dress, in 
the breast, or in a pocket in the sleeve, and 
which are thrown away as each is success- 
ively used, will be supplanted by our bar- 
barous method. Eau de Cologne, however, 
might be used with advantage to counteract 
the briny flavor of the well-water which is 
drunk at Ben ten. 

Mode of ^A^riting. 

Another pomt on which my visitors seemed 
to regard the superiority of Japanese civiliza- 
tion as incontestable, is their method of writ- 
ing. The Japanese uses a brush, a stick of 
Chinese ink, and a roll of paper made from 
mulberry leaves. He carries those things 
about with him everywhere : the roll of 
paper is placed in his breast; the brush and 
the inkstand hang in a case from his girdle, 
together with his pipe and his tobacco-bag. 

In order to regain my advantage, I ex- 
hibited a case containing an assortment of 
sewing cotton, needles, and pins, and begged 
the lady Yakounines to use them. They 
unanimously acknowledged the imperfection 
of the working materials of their country, 
where the sewing-machine is unknown. 
Needlework does not occupy in Japan any 



place like that which it takes in our middle- 
class households ; it is never produced dur- 
ing the long gossiping visits which the 
Japanese women interchange. As in Eu- 
rope men have recourse to the cigar, so in 
Japan they season their conversation with 
pipes. 

The visit ended by my giving the children 
some prints representing Swiss landscapes 
and costumes, and showing their elders a 
photographic album containing hkenesses of 
all the members of my family, which they 
examined with more than interest, with 
really touching emotion. It is within the 
domain of the natural affections that the 
unitj'-, the identity of the human race in every 
clime and among every people, makes itself 
most sensibly felt. 

"The Whole ^\^o^ld Akin." 
What signifies diversity of idiom in the 
presence of that universal language which 
translates itself by the expression of the eye, 
by a tear upon the eyelid, by sweet and 
touching intonations of the voice, like Men- 
delssohn's " Songs without Words ? " The 
traveller is, in the sight of all primitive 
peoples, a being who deserves the deepest 
pity, for he is separated from all that consti- 
tutes the charm of Hfe — the family, the 
paternal roof, the country of his ancestors. 
Religious admiration would be mingled 
with the compassion he inspires if he had 
left his country to accomplish a pious pil- 
grimage in a distant land, but that a man 
should cross the seas merely in the interest 
of terrestrial objects is a thing incomprehen- 
sible to the Japanese, They might admit 
the notion of my being a pohtical exile, the 
victim of the severity of my Government; 
but when they learn that I am neither 
a pilgrim nor proscribed, astonishment min- 
gled with a kind of fright is added to their 



316 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



artless sympathy and they appear to consider 
me an object of pity. 

All good people who compose the popu- 
lation of the beach accost me in the friendliest 
manner. The children bring me beautiful 
glistening shells, and the women do their 
best to make me understand the culinary 
properties of the hideous little marine mon- 
sters which they pile up in their baskets. 
This spontaneous kindliness and cordiality 
is a characteristic common to all the lower 
classes of Japanese society. More than 
once, when I have been going on foot 
about the suburbs of Nagasaki or Yoko- 
hama, the country people have invited me 
to step inside their little enclosures. 

Japanese Hospitality. 

Then they would show me their flowers, 
and cut the best among them to make up a 
bouquet for me. It was always in vain that 
I offered them money ; they never accepted 
it, and were not satisfied until I had crossed 
their threshold and partaken of tea and rice- 
cakes with them. 

Spring is the most tempting season for 
exploring the coasts of the Bay of Yeddo. 
From the heights on its borders the inland 
scene, stretching away to the foot of Fousi- 
yama, presents an uninterrupted succession 
of wooded hills and cultivated valleys, diver- 
sified by rivers or gulfs, which at a distance 
look like lakes. The villages on their banks 
are half hidden in rich foliage, and large 
farms, approached by shady roads, may be 
traced out at various points of the land- 
scape. 

The precocity of the vegetation in the rice- 
grounds and on the cultivated hills, the quan- 
tity of evergreen trees on every side, deprives 
the springtide of Japan of that fresh and bud- 
ding aspect which is one of its chief beauties 
elsewhere. And yet, where can be found a 



more luxuriant spring vegetation, more rich 
in beautiful details ? All along the hedges, 
in the orchards, and about the villages, tufts 
of flowers and foliage of dazzling hue stand 
out against the dark tints of a background 
of pines, firs, cedars, cypress, laurels, green 
oak, and bamboos. 

Here we find the great white flowers of 
the wild mulberry; there, camelias growing 
in the open country, as tall as our apple 
trees ; everywhere, cherry trees, plum trees, 
peach trees, generally laden with double 
flowers, some quite white, others bright 
red, and sometimes white and red on the 
same branches; for many of the Japanese 
do not care at all for the fruit of these trees, 
but cultivate and graft them merely for the 
sake of the double flowers, and to vary or 
combine the species. 

The Tufted Bamboo. 

The bamboo, much employed in the ca- 
pacity of a support to these trees, frequently 
lends his elegant foliage to the branches of 
young fruit trees which have no other adorn- 
ment than their bunches of flowers. But I 
love the bamboo most when it grows in soli- 
tary groups, like a tuft of gigantic reeds. 
There is nothing more picturesque in the 
whole landscape than these tall green pol- 
ished stems, with their golden streaks and 
their tufted tops, and all around the chiefs 
the young slender offshoots with their 
feathered heads, and a multitude of long 
leaves streaming in the wind like thousands 
of fluttering pennons. 

The bamboo groves are favorite subjects 
of study with the Japanese painters, whether 
they limit themselves to reproduce the grace- 
ful lines and harmonious effects, or enliven 
the picture by adding some of the live 
creatures which seek their verdant shelter 
— the little birds, the butterflies, and, in 



THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE. 



317 



lonely places, the weasel, the ferret, the 
black squirrel, and the red-faced brown 
monkey. 

All the waysides are bordered with violets, 
but they are scentless. The country^ pro- 
duces a very small number of odoriferous 
plants, and it is remarkable that the lark, 
the nightingale, and other singing birds are 
very rare. Perhaps the lack of perfume 
and of song, in the midst of all the wealth of 
a luxuriant vegetation, helps to diminish the 
effect upon the imagination which it seems 
to me Japanese scenery ought to produce. 
It is certain that in contemplating it one does 
not experience that sense of dreamy exalta- 
tion and tenderness which is produced by the 
sight of a European landscape in the spring- 
time, when nature is waking up. 

Without going into the question of the 
extent to which our sensibility' is fed by the 
remembrance of childhood, and the tradi- 
tional ideas which find no application in the 
world of the Far East, I think the cooling of 
our enthusiasm may be accounted for by the 
fact that, in Japan, nature is over-cultivated. 

Excess of Cultivation. 
With the exception of the forests and 
other plantations of trees, which the govern- 
ment maintains with praiseworthy care, the 
entire soil is invaded by cultivation to an ex- 
tent which almost defies description. Early 
in April the fields outside the woods are 
covered with buckwheat in full flower. In 
four or five weeks' time, on the lower 
ground, they will be reaping the barley and' 
wheat sown in November. In Japan they 
sow corn as we plant potatoes, that is in re- 
gular, perfectly straight rows, and between 
each of these there is an interval of free 
space in which is already sprouting a pecu- 
liar species of beans, which will spring up 
when the field shall have been reaped. That 



green surface which might be taken for 
sprouting corn is a field of millet, which was 
sown in March and will be ripe in Septem- 
ber. Millet is eaten by the natives in as 
large quantities as wheat ; they grind it into 
flour, and make cakes or porridge of it. 

On an adjacent plain there is a laborer till- 
ing the ground by means of a small plough 
drawn by one horse. In the fertile soil he 
will sow the seed of the cotton-tree, and in 
September or October each seed will have 
produced a plant two or three feet high, 
laden with twenty capsules arrived at matur- 
ity. Several white birds of the stork or 
heron family seem to be working in concert 
with the agriculturist ; they follow him about 
gravely, and, by plunging their long beaks 
into the half-opened furrow, they destroy the 
larva which the plough has just turned up. 

How Rice is Cultivated. 

In the depth of the valley are rice-grounds, 
which were laid under water about a month 
ago, by the opening of the sluice-gates of 
the irrigation canals. While in this state, 
the soil is broken up by the plough, and 
trodden by the feet of the buffaloes and the 
laborers ; the latter treading up to their 
calves in the clay, and breaking the stubborn 
clumps with pickaxes. When the earth has 
been mashed into a kind of liquid paste, 
men and women go step by step along the 
dykes of the enclosure, and throw in hand- 
fuls of seed upon the square spaces destined 
to form the nursery ground. 

Then these are turned over with a kind of 
rake, in order to distribute and bury the seed. 
Now the water has subsided, the nursery 
ground puts forth its thick, close crop, and 
the cultivators tear it up, roots and stems 
together, to transplant them carefully in the 
large squares of soft earth which have not 
yet been utilized, in tufts arranged in a 



318 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



chequered pattern at regular intervals. There 
the rice will grow and ripen, to be cut in the 
month of October. 

Until then it has to dread the pretty httle 
red and white breasted birds which fall like 
hail on the grain-laden stems, shake the ripe 
fruit to the ground, and set to their work of 
pillage with shrill notes of joy, dancing on 
their little feet after a fashion full of charm 
for the impartial observer, but which inspires 



prevention, provided that it is kept in incess- 
ant motion. This is the task of a boy, who, 
when there is not sufficient wind to shake the 
net, pulls the cord attached to it, like a bell- 
rope, and thus keeps it going. The child 
sits in a lofty seat, perched on four bamboos, 
under a little roof formed of reeds. 

Several kinds of rice are grown in Japan. 
That of the plains is the most highly 
esteemed : that of the hills does not require 




the proprietor with far different feelings 
persecuted rice-growers resort to all kinds of 
scarcecrows, which they set up at the most 
seriously menaced points, but without much 
apparent effect upon the morals of the thriv- 
ing birds. 

In one place, a complete network of cords 
of plaited straw, garnished with swinging 
appendages of the same material, is fixed on 
poles, and extended above the rice-field, 
forming a perfectly efficacious method of 



CASTLE AT MATSUYAMA, JAPAN. 

The to be so long submerged as the former, but 



I have seen it subjected in the spring, to 
processes of irrigation which have cost much 
"labor ; in the formation of reservoirs on the 
upper level of the hill, and the establishment 
of numerous canals, discharging themselves 
upon all the terraces prepared for rice culture. 
Each terrace thus converted into a rice- 
ground will bear, next autumn, wheat or 
millet. The Japanese may perhaps clear 
some mountain-land now and then, but they 



THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE. 



319 



will never leave land capable of being tilled, 
fallow. 

The tea-plant is not cultivated in our dis- 
trict. It is occasionally met with under 
certain favorable circumstances, but the real 
tea-districts are several days' journey north 
and west of the bay. We are much nearer 
to the silk-growing districts, and there would 
be nothing to prevent the development of 
this industry in our immediate vicinity, if 
there were sufficient space for the cultivation 
of the mulberry-tree. 

It strikes me, in short, that the population 
by whom I am surrounded, and the inhabi- 
tants of the southern coasts of Niphon 
generally, leave to the natives of the interior 
the production of the most valuable articles 
of commerce, such as silk, tea, and even 
cotton, which is not very abundant on our 
coasts; while they devote themselves some 
to fishing and water-carriage, and others to 
agriculture in its strict sense — the production 
of cereals and leguminous and oleaginous 
plants ; also to horticulture, and the growth 
of flax, straw, reeds, and bamboos. 

The " Mountain People." 

Among the peasant population of the fer- 
tile valleys which border the Bay of Yeddo, 
one frequently meets men of a more vigorous 
race, whose aspect, though kindly, seems to 
denote a certain independence of character or 
of manner of life. These are the "mountain 
people," or the inhabitants of the chain of the 
Akoni, at the foot of Fousi-yama. 

The business which brings them down to 
the plains is very various in its nature : for 
some, it is dealing in wood for ships and 
building ; for others, it is dealing in firewood. 
Some are carrying baggage on pack-horses 
from the provinces in the interior to such or 
such a port on the bay ; others are employed 
In hauling the canal-boats, and among them 



recruits are made for a select tribe of nunters, 
as well as for a portion of the Tycoon's 
troops of the line ; that is, the infantry com- 
panies, among whom European arms of 
precision have been introduced. 

Unfortunately, the country inhabited by 
these passing guests is almost entirely inac- 
cessible to strangers. If certain native state- 
ments are to be believed, bridges, aqueducts, 
and dams of most marvellous construction 
i exist there, which baffle the imagination 
i when one thinks of the imperfection of the 
I instruments with which they have been made. 
j The resources which the Japanese possess in 
I raw material are not accorded to our climates. 
The bamboo, for instance, furnishes a natural 
conduit for hydraulic purposes, whose excel- 
lence yields to no product of modern in- 
dustry. 

Variety of Bridges. 

It is employed in the formation of sus- 
pension-bridges in the place of wire. In 
the mountains of Kiousiou there is a bridge, 
flung from one rock to another across a 
deep abyss, by means of a hanging staircase 
formed of huge pieces of bamboo laid in 
line, and fitted over one another longitudi- 
nally. The Japanese traverse great rivers on 
bridges made of casks, and managed by 
straw ropes. They cross terrific ravines by 
bridges of rope, and even by means of a 
single rope, along which slips a kind of 
aerial ferry-boat. 

In a country like theirs, where the Gov- 
ernment maintains only one public highway 
— the great military road called the Toikado 
— the inhabitants, reduced to their own re- 
sources, strive to establish the communica- 
tions w^hich they require at the least possible 
cost. Hence the infinite variety of their 
contrivances for transport by land and by 
water. A curious specimen of the latter is 



320 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



the means devised to enable the women who 
are engaged in rice cultivation to cross the 
submerged lands. Four tubs, fastened to- 
gether between the angles of two crossed 
planks, are packed with as many persons and 
as large a quantity of provisions as this 
sigular equipage can accommodate, and two 
of the passengers propel it with poles. The 
same talent for utilizing the simplest means 
of action, the most primitive instruments, the 
most elementary processes, is equally to be 
traced in the arts and handicrafts in Japan. 
But there is a very important part of their 
social life which either escapes us or which 
it is very difficult for us to study. 

We can only see the people at work in the 
"fields and in some of the village sheds. The 
docks, the workshops and the factories in 
the industrial cities, the artistic conceptions, 
and the most original productions of their 
autonomic civilization, are carefully hidden 
from us by the police restrictions of a jealous 
government. Nevertheless, little by little 
the light is coming, and a day will soon 
dawn when, in this respect also, Japan shall 
be opened to the investigations of science. 

The country around Yokohama is thor- 
oughly cultivated and covered with dwel- 
lings. The isolated houses are built near 
the roads, and even those which line the 
highway are usually entirely open, and free 
to light and air. In order to enjoy the fresh 
breezes, the inhabitants shove to the right 
and left the movable screens which enclose 
their dwellings, and thus completely expose 
their domestic arrangements to the view of 
those who pass. 



Ijt is therefore not difficult to observe their 
manner of Hving, as well as the distinctive 
characteristics of the different classes of so- 
ciety. The conventional separation of the 
latter does not seem to depend on any im- 
portant difference of blood or of habits. The 
families of the Yakounin live in tiie same 
manner, and with the same domestic cus- 
toms, as those of the peasants and me- 
chanics; and, with the exception of a 
greater luxury in dress and meals, the 
households of the higher government of- 
ficials are very similar. 

A Japanese lady's dress will often repre- 
sent a value of ^200, without counting the 
ornaments for her hair. A woman of the 
smaller shop-keeping class may have on 
her, when she goes out holiday-making, 
some 1^40 or 1^50 worth. A gentleman will 
rarely spend on his clothes as much as he 
lets his wife spend on hers. Perhaps he 
may not have on more than $60 worth. 
Thence, through a gradual decline in price, 
we come to the coolie's poor trappings, 
which may represent as little as ;^5, or even 
$2, as he stands. 

Children's dress is more or less a repeti- 
tion in miniature of that of their elders. 
Long swaddling-clothes are not in use. 
Young children have, however, a bib. They 
wear a little cap on their heads, and at their 
side hangs a charm-bag, made out of a bit 
of some bright-colored damask, containing 
a charm supposed to protect them from 
being run over, washed away, etc. A metal 
ticket is generally fastened about them as a 
precaution against getting lost. 



CHAPTKR XIX. 
DOMESTIC LIFE IN JAPAN. 



THE country may be reached from 
Benten without passing through 
the Japanese city. Beyond the 
precincts of the holy place, a wide 
pathway supported on piles forms a road 
alongside the river. From this road, which 
leads to a suburb occupied by poor artisans, 
and terminated by a military guard-house 
and a Customs' station, we look down upon 
the low streets and the marsh of Yokohama. 
A handsome wooden bridge, built on piles 
sufficiently high to permit the passage of 
sailing-boats, crosses the river, and joins the 
footpath on the left bank. 

By following this footpath to the northeast, 
we reach the high road of Kanagawa ; and 
by taking the southeast direction, we come 
to the country' roads leadmg to the Bay of 
the Mississippi. 

The country is covered on every side with 
cultivated land, and the habitations are ex- 
ceedingly numerous. The isolated houses 
near the road, and those which border on 
the village streets, are generally open, and 
may, so to speak, be seen through. The 
inhabitants, in order to establish currents of 
air, slide the screens which form their walls 
into the grooves on the right and left, so 
that the interiors of their houses are freely 
exhibited to the sight of the passers-by. 

Under such conditions it is not difficult to 
form a correct idea of household life, and to 
observe the distinctive characters of a 
national type, as well as the domestic 
manners of the native population. The con- 
ventional separation between classes in Japa- ^ 
21 ' 



nese society does not rest upon essential dil 
ference of race, or of modes of life. 

From the height of the hill on which the 
residence of the Governors of Kanagawa is 
situated I have more than once had occasion 
to examine and observe, on one side,, some 
buildings set apart for the dwellings of the 
Yakounines, and on the other groups of 
houses or cottages belonging to artisans and 
cultivators. In the courtyards, formed by 
divisions made of planks which separate the 
military caste from the others, I remarked 
exactly the same habits, the same modes of 
life, which I saw publicly in action in the 
courtyards of the plebeians. 

Appearance of the Japanese. 

My later observation of the houses of the 
high Government functionaries only confirms 
me in the belief that we may reduce the 
chief types and the domestic manners of the 
whole population of the centre of the Em- 
pire — ^that is to say, of the three great islands 
of Kiousiou, Sikoff, and Niphon — to certain 
general features. 

The Japanese are of middling height, very 
inferior to the men of the Germanic race, 
but not ^vithout some resemblance to the in- 
habitants of the southwest of the Iberian 
peninsula. 

There is more difference in height between 
the men and the women of Japan than in 
those of Europe and America. According 
to the observations of Dr. Mohnike, formerly 
physician to the Dutch Factory of Decima, 
the average height of the men is five feet one 

321 



322 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



inch, and that of the women from four feet 
one inch to four feet three inches. 

The Japanese, without being precisely dis- 
proportioned, have generally large heads, 
rather sunk in the shoulders, wide chests, 
long bodies, narrow hips, short and thin legs, 
small feet, and slight and remarkably beauti- 
ful hands. Their retreating foreheads and 
large and prominent cheek-bones make their 
faces represent the geometrical figure of the 
trapeze rather than that of the oval. 

The cavities of the eyes being very shallow, 
and the cartilage of the nose rather flattened, 
the eyes in almost every case are more on 
the surface than those of the European, and 
sometimes very narrow. But, nevertheless, 
the general effect is not that of the Chinese 
or Mongol type. The head of the Japanese 
is large, the face is long, and on the average 
more regular. Finally, the nose is more 
prominent, better formed, and sometimes 
even aquiline. According to Dr. Mohnike, 
the Japanese head is that of the Turanian 
race. 

Complexion and Hair. 

All the Japanese population, without ex- 
ception, have fine, thick, straight and lustrous 
black hair. The women's hair is shorter 
than in the European and Malay countries. 
The Japanese have thick beards, but they 
shave at least every second day. The color 
of their skin varies according to the differ- 
ent classes of society, from the copper tints 
of the interior of Java to the sunburnt white 
of the natives of Southern Europe. The 
predominant shade is olive-brown, but it 
never resembles the yellow tint of the Chinese. 

Unlike those of Europeans, the face and 
hands of the Japanese are generally less 
colored than the body ; little children and 
young persons of both sexes have rosy com- 
plexions, red cheeks, and the same indica- 



tions of robust health which we like to see in 
persons of our own race. 

The women have fairer complexions than 
the men : we saw several persons of rank, 
and even in the middle classes, who were 
perfectly white ; the ladies of the aristocracy 
regard excessive paleness as a mark of dis- 
tinction. Nevertheless, both one and the 
other are separated from the European type 
by those two indelible marks of race — nar- 
row eyes, and the ungraceful depression of 
the chest which is always evident even in 
persons in the flower of their youth, and 
endowed with the greatest natural charms. 

A Singular Custom. 

Both men and women have black eyes, 
white and perfect teeth, separated by regular 
interstices, and slightly projecting. It is the 
custom for married women to blacken their 
teeth. In this we trace a tradition of Java, 
where the women file their teeth down to the 
gums ; or of the Malay country in general, 
where everyone has black teeth, produced by 
the use of the betel. 

The mobility of expression and the great 
variety of physiognomy, which we remark 
amongst the Japanese, seem to me to be the 
result of an intellectual development more 
spontaneous, more original, and in short 
more free, than is to be met with amongst 
any other people in Asia. 

The national garment of the Japanese is 
the "kirimon." It is a kind of open dress- 
ing-gown, made a little longer and more 
ample for women than for men. It is crossed 
at the waist by means of a sash, which for 
men is made of a straight and narrow piece 
of silk — for women, of a large piece of stuff 
elegantly tied at the back. 

The Japanese wear no linen, but they bathe 
every day. The women wear a chemise of 
red silk crape. In summer, the peasants, the 




JAPANESE FAMILY. 



323 



324 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



fishermen, the artisans and the cooHes do 
their work in a state of almost complete 
nudity, and the women merely wear a single 
petticoat. During the rains they wear 
large cloaks of straw or oil-paper, and hats 
of bamboo bark, made like those of Java, in 
the form of shields. 

In winter the working-men wear a jacket 
and trousers of blue cotton under the kiri- 
mon, and the women one or several wadded 
mantles, but generally there is no difference 
between their costumes, excepting in the 
nature of the materials. Persons of the 
middle class and of the nobility never go 
out without jacket and trousers. The nobles 
alone have a right to wear silk, and only 
dress richly to go to Court, or to make 
visits of ceremony. The officers of the 
Government, and the Yakounines on duty 
wear wide trailing trousers ; and replace the 
kirimon by an overcoat with large sleeves, 
which however only comes down to the hips, 
and is rather elegantly cut. Every one 
wears the same coverings for the feet, which 
consist of sandals of plaited straw, or wooden 
slippers fastened by a cord in which the great 
toe is caught. 

Covering for the Feet. 

When the roads are muddy, the people 
wear a simple wooden sole, resting upon two 
smaller pieces placed crosswise. During the 
greater portion of the year the working 
people merely use straw sandals. Each, on 
returning to his own house, or on presenting 
himself at that of a stranger, removes his 
socks or his sandals and leaves them at the 
door. 

The floors of the Japanese houses are con- 
stantly covered with mats. As they are all 
of the same size, which is so invariable that 
the mat is used as a standard measure — it is 
never difficult to arrange them in an apart- 



ment. They are uniformly six feet three 
inches long, three feet two inches wide, and 
four inches thick. 

They are made of rice-straw, very care- 
fully plaited ; by combining them with the 
grooves made in the floor and with the slid- 
ing screens which form the walls of the 
rooms, the Japanese divides his habitation 
into small or large rooms ; but the dimen- 
sions are always regular, and he modifies 
this distribution exactly as it pleases him, 
without trouble, and never departing from 
the exactly symmetrical lines. 

Serves Many Uses. 

The mat dispenses with all other furniture : 
it is the mattress on which the Japanese 
passes the night, wrapped up in an ample 
dressing-gown, and under a large wadded 
counterpane, with his head resting on a little 
bolster made of strips of bamboo ; on it he 
sets out the utensils of lacquer and porcelain 
used at his meals ; on it the bare feet of his 
children tread ; it is the divan where, crouch- 
ing on his heels, surrounded by his friends 
and his guests, all crouching like him, he 
indulges in interminable talk, drinking a de- 
coction of tea unmingled with any other 
ingredient, and smoking tobacco out of 
microscopic pipes. 

In all the inns of Japan we find what is 
called the " bali-bali," a moveable floor like 
a great table, covered with mats and raised 
only a foot above the ground. On this the 
traveller sits or crouches, eats, drinks, takes 
a siesta, and chats with his neighbors. The 
Japanese house is nothing more than the 
"bali-bali " brought to perfection, a temporary 
refuge in which to take shelter when the 
labors of the street and the country are ter- 
minated ; but it is not the centre of exist- 
ence, if we may be permitted to use that 
expression at all in speaking of a people 




PL, 
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1-1 



DOMESTIC LIFE IN JAPAN. 



325 



who live from day to day, forgetful of yes- 
terday, not caring for to-morrow. 

One day when I had been listening to the 
recitation of half a dozen of the young boys 
in our neighborhood, who were squatting in 
front of their schoolmaster, I asked what 
was the name of the exercise that they were 
repeating in chorus. I was told that they 
were practising to recite the " Irova," a sort 
of alphabet in which not the vowels and con- 
sonants, but the fundamental signs of the 
Japanese language, are collected and grouped 
in four lines. 

The Japanese Alphabet. 

The number of those sounds is fixed at 
forty-eight, and instead of classifying them 
in grammatical elements according to the 
organs of speech, they have been made into 
a little piece of poetry, whose first word, 
" Irova," gives its name to the alphabet. As 
nearly as I can reproduce the sense of the 
rhyme, this is it : — 

" Color and odor alike pass away. 
In our world nothing is permanent. 
The present day has disappeared in the profound 
abyss of nothingness. 
) It was but the pale image of a dream ; it causes us 
not the least regret. ' ' 

This national alphabet told me more of 
the character of the Japanese people than I 
might have found in volumes. For centu- 
ries the generations who were departing re- 
peated to the generation who were coming, 
" There is nothing permanent in this world ; 
the present passes like a dream, and its 
flight causes not the slightest trouble." 
That this popular philosophy of nothing- 
ness does not give full satisfaction to the 
needs of the soul, is quite evident when we 
consider how largely the manifestations of 
religious sentiment have developed of late; 
nevertheless, it is probable that it acts inces- 



santly as a latent force, and its influence is 
felt in all the details of life. 

The children profit most by the way of 
life to which this gives rise. In the first 
place, it is granted by everyone that the 
child ought to have its own way. Fathers 
and mothers derive their pleasure from the 
observance of this natural law. Every means 
of enjoyment for children, every subject of 
their amusement, becomes a source of per- 
sonal satisfaction to the parents ; they give 
themselves up to it with all their hearts, and 
it suits the children admirably. Travellers 
who have said that Japanese children never 
cry, have stated with very little exaggeration 
of expression a perfectly real phenomenon. 
It is explained by circumstances to which I 
have alluded, as well as by certain external 
conditions. 

Mother and Babe. 

The Japanese is husband to only one wife, 
who passes almost without transition from 
her doll to her child, and preserves for a 
long time her natural infantile character. On 
the other hand, the national custom does not 
permit her to bring up her baby too care- 
fully. She is obliged to expose it to the 
atmospheric influences, carr}ang it into the 
air every day, even at noon, with its head 
shaven, and perfectly naked. In order to 
carry the child about as long as possible 
without much fatigue, the woman places it 
upon her back, fastening it like a package 
between her chemise and the collar of her 
kirimon. 

Thus the wives of the peasants may con- 
stantly be seen working in the fields with a 
little head wagging between their shoulders. 
In the house the children may be left to 
themselves without any uneasiness ; they can 
roll about among the mats, crawling on all- 
fours and trymg to stand upright, because 



326 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



there is no furniture against which they can 
hurt themselves, nor any object which they 
can knock down or break. 

Their companions are the domestic ani- 
mals — little pug-dogs with short legs and 
tremendously fat bodies, and a particular 
species of cat with white fur marked with 
yellow and black stripes, which are exceed- 
ingly bad mousers, very idle and very affec- 



there are cages made of bamboo bark, con- 
structed on the models of the most elegant 
habitations, and containing large butterflies 
shut up there on a bed of flowers, or grass- 
hoppers, in whose strident and monotonous 
cry the natives take great delight. 

Such are the surroundings amid which 
the Japanese child grows up without any 
restraint in the paternal house, which is 




A JAPANESE RESIDENCE. 



tionate. Like the cats of Java and the Isle 
of Man, these animals have no tails. 

Every family in easy circumstances pos- 
sesses an aquarium, containing fish — red, 
silver, gold, transparent — some round as a 
ball, others ornamented with a long wide 
tail or fin, which performs the office of a 
rudder, and which floats about like a piece 
of extremely fine gauze. In all the houses 



merely a sort of shady playground where 
pleasure is the chief pursuit. 

His parents are prodigal of toys, and 
games, and entertainments, as much for their 
own enjoyment as in the interest of his edu- 
cation. His lessons, properly speaking, con- 
sist in singing in chorus, at the top of his 
voice, the "Irova," and drawing with his 
brush and Chinese ink the first letters of the 



DOMESTIC LIFE IN JAPAN. 



327 



alphabet, then words, then phrases. There 
is no compulsion and no precipitation about 
these lessons, because they are certain things 
of undeniable utility that can only be ac- 
quired by long practice. No one ever thinks 
of depriving his child of the benefits of in- 
struction. There are no scholastic rules, no 
measures of coercion for recalcitrant parents, 
and nevertheless the whole adult population 
can read, write and calculate. There is 
something estimable in the pedagogic regime 
of Japan. 

This has been greatly improved during 
the latter half of our century and is to be 
attributed to the contact of the Japanese 
with western civilization. The people are 
awake to new ideas and methods of educa- 
tion. Teachers from America and Europe 
have found positions in Japanese schools 
and the authorities have not been slow to 
adopt some features of the school systems 
of more enlightened countries. 

Beautiful Fancy Work. 

Japanese houses are furnished with evi- 
dences of taste and frequently with rare 
specimens of fancy work. Notwithstanding 
its bonzes, its astrologers and its academical 
poets, the ancient Japanese civilization was 
not without its popular period, which has 
left an indelible impression upon taste at 
Kioto. All works which come out of the 
workshops of the old capital are distinct 
from ever>'thing that one sees elsewhere. 

But the admiration which they inspire is 
mingled with a feeling of regret, for by a 
singular contradiction they attain an aston- 
ishing perfection in the imitation of animal 
and vegetable nature, whilst on approaching 
the sphere of human life they present only 
types without reality, and figures cut on 
conventional patterns. Evidently the noble 
faculties revealed in the conceptions and in 



the handiwork of the national artists were 
arrested in their development by official 
rules, and hindered for want of a method 
superior to that suggested to them by the 
fashions of the Court. 

Thus, art as well as literature became a 
conventional and hollow routine in its sub- 
servience to the Mikados. We may even 
add, that at the decline of the Mikados it 
remained exactly the same as it had been in 
the height of their power; and it is a remark- 
able fact that it has not since degenerated or 
become corrupt. 

Verdure and Flo^vers. 

The working population of the ancient 
Imperial cities has not changed for centuries. 
Amid institutions which have fallen into de- 
crepitude it does not exhibit the slightest 
trace of the decadence and debility which 
are common to every, class of Chinese 
society. China awakes in the mind at every 
moment the image of a worm-eaten, dusty 
edifice, inhabited by aged invalids. But in 
Japan there are really neither ruins nor dust, 
the fresh vegetation of its always green 
islands is matched by that appearance of un- 
alterable youth which transmits itself gener- 
ation after generation among the inhabitants 
of this happy country, who ornament even 
their last dwellings \vith the emblems of 
eternal spring. 

Their cemeteries abound with verdure and 
flowers in all seasons. Their tombs, simple 
commemorative tablets, perserve the recol- 
lection of all dead \vithout any symbol of 
destruction. Every family has its separate 
enclosure and every dead person a stone in 
the common resting-place ; the tradition of 
those who are no more is carried on from 
hill to hill among the gardens of the sacred 
groves, even to the extremities of the sub- 
urbs of their cities. 



828 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



At Nagasaki this picture seems perfect. 
The city stretches out at the foot of a chain 
of mountains, of little height, which have 
been cut out into terraces, forming an am- 
phitheatre of funeral ground in the eastern 
quarter of the city. 

Here, one is in the presence of two cities : 
in the plain, the city of the living lies in the 
sun, with its long and wide streets bordered 
with fragile wooden houses and inhabited by 
an ephemeral crowd; on the mountain is the 
necropolis, with its walls and monuments of 
granite, its trees hundreds of years old, its 
solemn calm. 

Festival for the Dead. 

The inhabitants of Nagasaki, when they 
raise their eyes in the direction of the moun- 
tain, must think involuntarily of the innum- 
erable generations which have passed away 
before them from the face of the earth. That 
multitude of stones raised upon the terrace, 
standing up clear against the blue haze of 
the distance, keeps alive among them the 
idea that the spirits of their ancestors come 
back from their tombs, and that, mute, but 
attentive, they contemplate the life of the 
city. 

One day of the year, towards the end of 
the month of August, the entire population 
invite these spirits to a solemn festival, which 
is prolonged during three consecutive nights. 
On the first evening the tombs of all persons 
who have died during the past year are 
lighted by lanterns, painted in different colors. 

On the second and third nights, all the 
tombs without exception, the old as well as 
the new, participate in a similar illumination, 
and all the families of Nagasaki come out 
and install themselves in the cemeteries, 
where they give themselves up to drinking 
abundantly in honor of their ancestors. 

But on the third night, about three o'clock 



in the morning, long processions of lights 
come down from the heights and group 
themselves together on the borders of the 
bay, while the mountain gradually resumes 
its darkness and its silence. The souls of 
the dead men have embarked and disappeared 
before the dawn. Thousands of small straw 
boats have been fitted up for them, each 
provided with fruit and small pieces of money. 
These fragile barks are laden with all the 
painted paper lamps which had served for 
the illuminations of the cemeteries, their little 
sails of mat are spread, and the morning 
breeze disperses them over the water, where 
they are soon consumed. Thus the entire 
flotilla is burnt, and for a long time the 
traces of fire may be seen dancing over the 
waves. But the dead go quickly. Finally,, 
the last ship disappears, the last light is ex- 
tinguished, the last soul has again bidden 
adieu to the earth. At the rising of the sun 
there is no trace of the dead or of the merry- 
makers. 

The Ancient Religion. 

In ancient times the Japanese had no 
other religion than that of the Kamis : the 
honors of a special sepulture were awarded 
only to persons of a certain importance, who 
were allowed a resting-place distinct from 
the cemeteries reserved for the common 
people. 

The ceremonies of the burial of the dead 
had, in ancient times, a very solemn char- 
acter, but suggestive to the beholder rather 
of the triumph of a hero. Beside the dead 
man, in the tomb, was laid his coat of mail, 
his arms, all his most precious possessions : 
even his principal servants followed him to 
the sepulchre, and his favorite horse was 
immolated to his manes. These barbarous 
customs were abolished in the first century 
of our era. Lay figures replaced human 



DOMESTIC LIFE IN JAPAN. 



329 



victims, and only the picture of a horse was 
sacrificed. A few strokes of a brush, boldly- 
dashed upon a plank of wood, represented 
the image of the four-footed companion of 
the dead, and this plank was enclosed in the 
tomb. 

Pictures of Horses. 

The native painters display such skill in 
the execution of these designs, that these 
Yemas, or sketches of horses, have become 
artistic curiosities ; and numbers of them 
exist in various chapels in the towns and 
country places, and are regarded as votive 
pictures. Amateurs search eagerly for 
Yemas upon the screens in the old houses 
and in the palaces of Tokio. A few of them 
may be found among the presents sent by the 
Tycoon to foreign Governments. 

This kind of drawing was not regarded 
with favor by the Court of the Mikado, 
where miniature painting was much in fashion. 
The works of the miniature painters of Kioto 
remind us of the mediaeval missals : they are 
painted on vellum, with the same profusion 
of color on a golden background ; the manu- 
script is ornamented by plates in the text, 
and rolled upon an ivory cylinder, or upon a 
stick of precious wood, with metal ornaments 
inserted in the ends. 

Collections of poetry, almanacs, Htanies, 
prayers, and romances are generally bound 
up into volumes. Ladies use microscopic 
prayer-books ; and they and the poets of 
Kioto employ no other almanacs than the 
calendar of flowers, in which the months and 
their subdivisions are represented by sym- 
bolical bouquets. There is also a calendar 
of the blind, and collections of prayers exist 
in characters of unknown origin. 

The dress of the women of quality not 
only indicates their rank and condition, but 
is always in harmony, as to its color and the 



subjects embroidered upon the garments,, 
with the time and the seasons, the flowers, 
and the productions of the different months 
of the year. The months themselves are 
never called by their names, but by their 
attributes. The month Atniable draws the 
bonds of friendship closer by visits and pre- 
sents on the new year ; the month of " the 
awakening of nature " is the third month of 
the year ; tlie month of Missives, which is 
the seventh, has one day assigned to the 
exchange of letters of congratulation ; and 
the twelfth is that of "the business of the 
masters," because it obliges them to leave 
the house in order to attend to the regulatioa 
of their affairs. 

Free Use of Symbols. 

The architectural works of the Japanese, 
the products of their industry — everything 
that comes out of the hands of their copora- 
tions of arts and trades — indicate symbolical 
research mingled with great purity of taste 
in the imitation of nature. In all the temples 
and palaces we find ornaments in sculptured 
wood, which represent a bank of clouds, 
above which rises the front of the edifice. 
The grand entrance of the Dairi is decorated 
with a golden sun surrounded by the signs 
of the Zodiac ; the portals of the temples 
devoted to Buddhism are surmounted by 
two elephants' heads, which indicate that this 
religion came from India ; the carpenters' 
tools all bear symbolical devices. 

The favorite designs of their mosaics and 
their carvings in wood are borrowed from the 
lines described by the foaming waves of the 
sea and the basalt rocks cut by the waters ; 
bats and cranes are represented with ex- 
tended wings; the iris, the water-lily, and 
the lotus are always in full flower ; the 
bamboo, the cedar, the palm-tree, and the 
pear-tree, are either isolated or combined 



"330 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



with the most graceful climbing plants. All 
natnre is brought under tribute. 

We observed numerous ornaments whose 
signification we could not discover. Within 
the precincts of the Da'iri there is a bronze 
vase which coarsely represents a bird of some 




THE COURT OF THE MIKADO. 

unknown kind, of the height of a man. 
This is one of the most ancient monuments 
of native art. It is called the Tori-Kame ; 
its origin and use are unknown. Other vases 
• of great antiquity, mounted on pedestals, and 
which serve as perfume-burners, are carved 



with designs representing the head and scales 
of the crocodile, an animal unknown in 
Japan. 

The tortoise and the heron, which figure 
frequently in the composition of perfume- 
vases and sacred candelabra, are emblems of 
immortality, or at least of 
longevity. The Foo, a 
mythological bird common 
to both China and Japan, 
is found upon the lintels of 
the door of the Dairi, as 
an emblem of eternal happi- 
ness. These same mytho- 
logical images, and others 
which it would take too 
long to enumerate, are re- 
produced in the designs of 
the rich stuffs worked in 
silk, gold, and silver, which 
form the glory and the 
pride of the weavers of 
Kioto ; and also in the 
carvings and engravings on 
plates of gold, silver, red 
copper, and steel, with 
which the native jewelers 
decorate the handles and 
the- scabbards of swords, 
portable inkstands, pipes, 
tobacco-boxes, and other 
ornaments ; in short, in all 
the innumerable utensils, 
pieces of plate, and lacquer 
and porcelain furniture, 
which constitute the wealth 
of Japanese households. 
It was pointed out to me one day, amongst 
a collection of curiosities from the work- 
shops of Kioto, that none of the objects had 
a perfectly quadrangular form. I verified 
this in examining a great number of cabinets, 
screens, covers, paper boxes, and other var- 



■nished objects, amongst which, in fact, I did 
not discover a single acute angle : all were 
softened and rounded, Supposing that this 
peculiarity is only one of the caprices of 
taste, and therefore not to be disputed, there 
is another fact which may perhaps have a 
symbolical significance : it is, that all Japa- 
nese mirrors, without exception, present the 
figure of a disk. Such uniformity seems to 
confirm the opinion of Siebold, that the mir- 
ror of the temples of the Kamis is an 
emblem of the sun's disk. It would be 
more embarrassing to divine the reasons of 
certain fashions among those of Kioto, if 
indeed fashions ever have a reason. 



Fashions at Court. 

The Court ladies pull out their eyebrows 
and replace them by tvvo thick black patches 
painted half way up the forehead. Is this 
done because these beauties with prominent 
cheek-bones are aware that the oval of their 
faces is not quite so perfect as it might be ; 
or do they endeavor to lengthen it by this 
little feminine trick, which tends to place the 
eyelids, which Nature has put too low, in a 
more suitable position ? 

The amplitude of their rich brocade gar- 
ments leads us to think that at Kioto femi- 
nine luxury is measured by the quantity of 
silk that a Court lady can trail after her. 
But what can be the meaning of those two 
long tails which are seen on the right and 
left below the undulating draper)' of the 
mantle? When the lady is walking, they 
•obey each cadenced movement of her two 
little invisible feet ; and, looked at from a 
distance, she seems to be wearing, not a robe, 
T3ut a pair of long trailing trousers, which 
oblige her to advance on her knees. Such 
is in fact the effect which this costume is in- 
tended to produce. The ladies of the Court 
vrho are admitted to the presence of the 



DOMESTIC LIFE IN JAPAN. 331 

Mikado are bound to appear as if they were 
approaching his Sacred Majest>' on their 
knees. 

No noise is ever heard in the interior of 
the palace except the rustling of silk on the 
rich carpets with which the mats are covered. 
Bamboo blinds intercept the light of day. 
Screens covered with marvellous paintings, 
damjisk draperies, velvet hangings, orna- 
mented with knots of plaited silk in which 
artificial birds are framed, form the panels of 
the reception rooms. No article of furni- 
ture of any kind interferes with the elegant 
simplicity : in the corners there is, here, an 
aquarium of porcelain, with shrubs and 
natural flowers ; there, a cabinet encrusted 
with mother-of-pearl, or an elegant table 
laden with numerous poetical anthologies of 
the old Empire, printed upon leaves of gold. 



Maids of Honor. 

The scent of the precious wood, the fine 
mats, and rich stuffs, mixes with the pure air 
which comes in on all sides from the open 
partitions. The young girls on duty in the 
palace bring tea from Oudsji and sweetmeats 
from the refectory of the Empress. This 
personage, called the Kisaki, who proudly 
rules over twelve other legitimate wives of 
the Mikado and a crowd of his concubines, 
squats in proud isolation on the top step of 
the vast dais which rises above the whole. 
The ladies of honor and the women in wait- 
ing squat or kneel behind her at a respectful 
distance, composing groups which have the 
effect of beds of flowers, because each 
group, according to its hierarchical position, 
has its especial costume and its color. 

The folds of the garments of the Empress 
are arranged with such art that they sur- 
round her like a dazzling cloud of gauzy 
crape and brocade ; and three vertical rays 
of gold surmount her diadem like the insignia 



332 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



of a queen of flowers. Her appearance thus 
becomes striking, not to say attractive. 

The guests are ranged in concentric demi- 
circles in front of their sovereign. At a 
gesture from her hand the ladies-in-waiting 
on duty approach, and, prostrating themselves 
before her, receive her orders for the com- 
mencement of the anecdotical conversations 
or literary jousts, which form the diversions 
of her Court. 

The Court of the Kisaki is the academy of 
the floral games of Japan. On the third of 
the third month, all the wits of the Da'iri 
collect together in the gardens of the citadel, 
saki circulates, and challenges are exchanged 
between the gentlemen and the noble ladies, 
as to who shall find and paint, upon the 
classic fan of white cedar ornamented with 
ivy leaves, the most poetic stanzas in cele- 
bration of the revival of spring. 

Instruments of Music. 

The Court of the Empress, however, 
admitted other amusements than these liter- 
ary diversions. She had her chapel music, 
composed of stringed instruments, such as 
the violin with three strings ; the Japanese 
mandolin, called the samsin ; a sort of 
violincello, played without a bow, which is 
called a biwa ; and the gotto, a ten-stringed 
instrument, measuring, when laid flat, two 
yards long — the first was made in the year 
300. Notwithstanding the difference in 
dimensions, the gotto reminds us of the 
Tyrolese or Swiss zither. 

Theatrical representations were added to 
music. A corps of young comedians played 
little operas or executed character dances, 
some grave and methodical, in which a long 
tailed mantle was worn; others lively and 
playful, full of fancy, and varied with dis- 
guises, the dancers coming out occasionally 
with the wings of birds or butterflies. In 



addition to this, the ladies of the Dairi 
had their private boxes, not only at the 
imperial theatre, but at the circus of the 
wrestlers and boxers attached to the Court 
of the Mikado in virtue of privileges dating 
from the year 24 B. C. 

They were also permitted to witness cock- 
fighting in the verandahs of their country- 
houses, in strict privacy. A certain class of 
the officers of the Empress's service were 
especially detailed to arrange these barbar- 
ous and ridiculous representations. They 
wore helmets and padded trousers, in which 
they looked like balls. 

Old Customs Still Practical. 

The manners and customs of the Court of 
Kioto are still kept up in our time, with this, 
exception, that they no longer exhibit the 
least vestige of artistic or literary life. They 
are mechanically preserved in so far as the 
resources of the treasury permit; and are 
the last traces of the civilization of the old 
Empire. They are concentrated upon one 
single point in Japan, where they remain 
motionless as the old tombs themselves. 

Meanwhile, modern life has invaded the 
cities and the country all around the antique 
Miako. The Tycoon developed civil and 
military institutions in his modern monarchy, 
and already the smoke of the steamers before 
the ports of the Inland Sea announce the 
approach of the Christian civilization of the 
West. 

These circumstances lent a tragic interest 
to the actual situation of the ancient heredi- 
tary and theocratic Emperor of Japan, that 
invisible Mikado of whom one was not 
permitted to speak even while describing his 
Court. But he also has come out of the 
mysterious darkness which surrounds him.. 
The force of events has brought him to light, 
upon the scene of contemporaneous history- 




C?i 

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GROUP 0? JAPANESE GIPLS 




CHARTER XX. 
THE RESIDENCE OF THE SHOGUNS. 



THE environs of Kamakoura are those 
of a great city ; but the great city 
itself exists no longer. Rich vege- 
tation covers the inequalities of the 
soil which has evidently accumulated over 
ruins, overthrown walls, and canals now 
filled up. Antique avenues of trees stretch 
beyond waste groves overgrown with bram- 
bles. These avenues formerly led to palaces, 
of which there is now no trace. In Japan, 
even palaces, being for the most part built of 
Av^ood, leave no ruins after their fall. 

At Kamakoura the Shoguns had estab- 
lished their residence. Shogun was a title 
originally conferred by the Mikado, in other 
words the Emperor, on the militar)-- governor 
of the Eastern provinces. The Shoguns are 
known to foreigners by the Chinese name of 
Tycoons. The title was abolished in i S6y. 
Under the name of Shoguns we recall the 
generals-in-chief, temporal lieutenants of the 
theocratic Emperor. They governed Japan, 
under the supremacy of the Mikado, from 
the end of the twelfth century to the com- 
mencement of the seventeenth, from Mina- 
moto Yoritomo, who was the founder of 
their power, ta lyeyas, sumamed Gonghen- 
sama, the thirty-second Shogun who made 
Yeddo (now Tokio) the political capital of 
Japan, and created a new dynasty, whose 
last representatives adopted the title of 
Tycoon A. D. 1854. 

Yoritomo, born of a princely family, was 
indebted to his education by an ambitious 
mother for the qualities which made him the 
ruler and real chief of the Empire. He was 



brought up at the Court of Kioto, and early 
appreciated the condition of weakness into 
which the power of the Dairi had fallen. 
The Mikado, shut up in his seraglio, occiipied 
himself with nothing but palace intrigues. 
The courtiers were given up to idleness, or 
plunged in dissipation. The old families, 
who were brought into communication with 
the Emperor either .by kinship, alliance, or 
official rank, thought only of serving the 
interests of themselves and their children at 
court. They endeavored to procure high 
dignities for their eldest sons, and put the 
younger into holy orders. 

Chosen From Eighty Ladies. 

As for the girls, rather than send them 
into convents, they applied for their admis- 
sion into the ranks of the Empress's fifty 
ladies of honor, who were all obliged to take 
vows of chastity. The ambition of the 
matrons of high degree was perfectly satis- 
fied by the puerile ceremonies which accom- 
panied the birth of the heir-presumptive, 
and the nomination of its nurse, who was 
chosen among the eighty ladies of the old 
feudal nobility best qualified to fulfil this 
eminent function. 

While things were going on thus at Kioto, 
the Dai mi OS, that is, the old territorial gov- 
ernors, who lived in retirement in their pro- 
vinces, became by degrees less and less 
faithful in the maintenance of the obligations 
which they had contracted with the crown. 
Some arrogated to themselves absolute 
power in the government of their Imperial 

333 



334 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



fiefs ; others aggrandized their domains at 
the expense of their neighbors. Family 
wars, acts of vengeance and reprisal, stained 
the rustic fortresses of the principal dynasties 
of Japan with blood for many years: Anarchy 
was gaining ground by degrees. Yoritomo, 
whose family had suffered much from these 
troubles, obtained a superior command from 



the nation and its ruler. This matter was 
taken into serious account. 

Yoritomo created a standing army, per- 
fected the art of encampment, utilized them 
to discipline his soldiers, and neglected noth- 
ing to make them discard the habits of 
domestic life. It is to him, for example, 
that Japan owes the official organization of 




YORITOMO INVESTED WITH THE TITLE OF SHOGUN. 



the Mikado after vicissitudes, and was in- 
vested witli extensive power that he might 
establish order in the Empire. At this epoch 
the Mikado, as well as the armor-bearing 
nobles, had no other troops than the terri- 
torial militia. At the close of an expedi- 
tion the men returned to their homes. 

But the exigencies of the times were such 
that a military force was the only safety of 



the most shameful of occupations, which has 
been, ever since his time, a social institution 
regulated by the government. 

Yoritomo succeeded in his designs. He 
subjugated the Daimios, who had attempted 
to render themselves independent, and forced 
them to take an oath of fidelity and homage 
to him in his quality of lieutenant of the 
Mikado. Some of them refusing to recog- 



THE RESIDENCE OF THE SHOGUNS. 



335- 



nize him under this title, he exterminated 
them, with their 'entire famiHes, and confis- 
cated the whole of their property. More 
than once, when exasperated by the unex- 
pected resistance, he inflicted the most cruel 
tortures on his enemies. 

On the other hand, he incessantly carried 
on intrigues, by means of agents, in the 
Dairi. He had commenced his career under 
the seventy-sixth Mikado — he finished it 
under the eighty -third. Each Emperor who 
opposed him had been obliged to abdicate : 
one of them took the tonsure and retired 
into a cloister. 

A Divided Empire. 

It was only under the eighty-second 
Mikado that Yoritomo was oflficially invested 
with the title of Shogun. He had exercised 
his functions during twenty years. His son 
succeeded him. There were thenceforth two 
distinct Courts in the Empire of Japan ; that 
of the Mikado at Kioto, and that of the 
Shogun at Kamakoura. 

In the beginning, the new power was not 
hereditary. It happened sometimes that the 
sons of the Mikados were invested with it. 
Far from taking umbrage at what was tak- 
ing place at Kamakoura, the sacerdotal and 
literary Court of Kioto found a subject of 
jest in it ; now amusing themselves with the 
airs of the wife of the Shogun, the bad 
taste which the Secondary Courts showed in 
dress, the trivial performances of the actor ; 
the awkwardness of the dancers ; and again 
laughing at the gaudiness of the military 
uniforms, which Yoritomo had brought into 
fashion, or at the vulgarity of speech and 
manners of those new-blown grandees who 
gave themselves airs as restorers of the 
pontifical throne and saviours of the Empire, 

An unforeseen circumstance arose which 
gave sudden importance to the Court of 



Kamakoura, and concentrated upon it the 
attention and sympathy of the nation. 

In the twelfth month of the year 1268, a 
Mongol embassy landed at Japan. It came 
in the name of Koublai-Khan who, worthy 
descendent of the Tartar conquerors, was 
destined twelve years later to take possession 
of China ; he fixed his residence at Pekin 
and founded the Yuen dynast)', under which 
the great canal was constructed. This is the 
same sovereign who kept at his Court the 
Venetian Marco Polo, the first traveller who 
furnished Europe with exact notions respect- 
ing China and Japan. His narratives, it is 
said, exercised so decided an influence upon 
Christopher Columbus, that the discovery of 
America is in a sense due to them. 

Important Message. 
Koublai-Khan wrote to the Emperor of 
Niphon : " I am the head of a state formerly 
without importance. Now the cities and 
countries which recognize my power are 
numberless. I am endeavoring to establish 
good relations with the princes my neigh- 
bors. I have put an end to the hostilities of 
which the land of Kaoli was the scene. 
The chief of that little kingdom has pre- 
sented himself at my Court to declare his 
gratitude. I have treated him as a father 
treats his child. I will not act otherwise 
towards the princes of Niphon. No embassy 
has, as yet, come from your Court to confer 
with me. I fear that in your country the 
true state of things is unknown. I therefore 
send you this letter by delegates, who will 
inform you of my intentions. The wise man 
has said that the world should consist only 
of one family. But if amicable relations be 
not kept up, how shall that principle be 
realized ? For my part, I have decided 
upon pursuing its execution, even should I 
be obliged to resort to arms. Now, it is the 



336 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



duty of the sovereign of Niphon to consider 
-what it will suit him to do." 

The Mikado announced his intention of 
replying favorably to the overtures of 
Koublai-Khan. The Shogun, on the con- 
trary, declared himself hostile to an alliance 



vainly proposed that a meeting of the dele- 
gates of the two Empires should take place 
on the island of Isousima, in the Straits of 
Corea. In 1271 a new missive on his part 
remained unanswered. In 1273 he sent two 
ambassadors to Kamakoura, and the Shogun 




JAPANESE IDOL AND TEMPLE. 



with the hordes of the Mongols. He con- 
voked an assembly of the Da'imios at Kama- 
koura, submitted his objections to them, and 
enrolled them on his side. The embassy 
was dismissed with evasive words. 



had them sent back. These efforts failed to 
accomplish the desired result. 

A short time afterwards he was informed 
that two generals of Koublai-Khan were 
about to attack Japan at the head of an ex- 



In the following year the Mongol chief i pedition of three hundred large war-junks. 



THE RESIDENCE OF THE SHOGUNS. 



337 



three hundred swift sailing-ships, and three 
hundred transport-barks. The Mikado 
ordered public prayers and processions to 
the principle temples of the Kamis. The 
Shogun organized the national defence. At 
■every point on the coasts of Isousima and 
Kiousiou where the Mongols attempted to 
effect a descent, they were repulsed and 
beaten. 

Their Khan endeavored vainly to renew 
the negotiations. Two ambassadors whom 
he sent to the Shogun in 1275, were immedi- 
ately turned out. The third, having pre- 
sented himself in 1279, was beheaded. 

An Immense Fleet. 

Then, if we are to believe the annals of 
Japan, that country was menaced by the 
most formidable expedition which had ever 
sailed upon the seas of the far East. The 
Mongol fleet numbered four thousand sail, 
and carried an army of two hundred and 
forty thousand men. It was descending 
upon Firado towards the entrance of the 
inland sea when it was dispersed by a 
typhoon and dashed upon the coast. All 
who did not perish in the waves fell under 
the swords of the Japanese, who spared only 
three prisoners, whom they sent back to the 
other side of the strait to carry the news. 

After the occurrence of these events, it was 
no longer possible to regard the Shoguns as 
simple functionaries of the Crown, or even as 
the official protectors of the Mikado. The 
entire nation owed its safety to them. From 
that moment the Court of Kioto had a rival 
in that of Kamakoura, which must speedily 
■eclipse it and supplant it in the management 
of the affairs of the Empire. 

At the present time we find at Kamakoura 

the Pantheon of the glories of Japan. It is 

composed of a majestic collection of sacred 

buildings which have always been spared by 

22 



the fury of civil war. They are placed under 
the invocation of Hatchiman, one of the great 
national Kamis. Hatchiman belongs to the 
heroic period of the Empire of the Mikados. 
His mother was the Empress Zingou, who 
effected the conquest of the three kingdoms 
of Corea, and to whom Divine honors are 
rendered. 

Each year, on the ninth day of the ninth 
month, a solemn procession to the tomb 
which is consecrated to her at Fousimi, in 
the country of Yamasiro, commemorates her 
glorious deeds. Zingou herself sumamed 
her son Fatsman, "the eight banners," in 
consequence of a sign which appeared in the 
heavens at the birth of a child. Thanks to 
the education which she gave him, she made 
him the bravest of her soldiers and the most 
skilful of her generals. When she had 
attained the age of one hundred years she 
transmitted the sceptre and crown of the 
Mikados to her son, in the year 270 of our 
era. He was then seventy-one years old. 

Long and Brilliant Reign. 

Under the name of Woozin he reigned 
gloriously for forty-three years, and was 
raised, after his death, to the rank of a 
protecting genius of the Empire. He is 
especially revered as the patron of soldiers. 
In the annual fetes dedicated to him, Japan 
celebrates the memory of the heroes who 
have died for their country. The popular 
processions which take place on this occasion 
revive the ancient pomps of Kami worship. 
Even the horses formerly destined for sacri- 
fice are among the cortege ; but instead of 
being immolated, they are turned loose on 
the race-course. 

Most of the great cities of Japan possess a 
Temple of Hatchiman. That of Kamakoura 
is distinguished above all the others by the 
trophies which it contains. Two Veist build- 



338 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



ings are required for the display of this 
national wealth. There, it is said, are pre- 
served the spoils of the Corean and the 
Mongol invasions, also objects taken from 
the Portuguese Colonies and the Christian 
communities of Japan at the epoch when the 
Portugese were expelled, and the Japanese 
Christians were exterminated by order of the 
Shoguns. 

No European has ever yet been permitted 
to view the trophies of Kamakoura, While 
all European states like to display the treas- 
ures which they have respectively seized or 
won in their frontier and dynastic wars, 
Japan hides all monuments of its military 
glory from foreigners. They are kept in 
reserve, like a family treasure, in venerable 
sanctuaries, to which no profane feet ever 
find access. 

A Grand Avenue. 

The Temples of Hatchiman are approached 
by long lines of the those great cedar-trees 
which form the avenues to all places of wor- 
ship in Japan. As we advance along the 
avenue on the Kanasawa side, chapels multi- 
ply themselves along the road, and to the 
left, upon the sacred hills, we also come in 
sight of the oratories and commemorative 
stones which mark the stations of the pro- 
cessions ; on the right the horizon is closed 
by the mountain, with its grottos, its streams, 
and its pine groves. After we have crossed 
the river by a fine wooden bridge, we find 
ourselves suddenly at the entrance of another 
alley, which leads from the sea-side, and 
occupies a large street. This is the principal 
avenue, intersected by three gigantic toris, 
and it opens on the grand square in front of 
the chief staircase of the main buildings of 
the Temple. 

The precinct of the -sacred place extends 
into the street, and is surrounded on three 



sides by a low wall of solid masonry, sur- 
mounted by a barrier of wood painted red 
and black. Two steps lead to the first level. 
There is nothing to be seen there but the 
houses of the bonzes, arranged like the side- 
scenes of a theatre, amid trees planted along 
the barrier-wall, with two great oval ponds 
occupying the centre of the square. They 
are connected with each other by a large 
canal crossed by two parallel bridges, each 
equally remarkable in its way. 

Attractive Spectacle. 

That on the right is of white granite, and 
it describes an almost perfect semicircle, so 
that when one sees it for the first time one 
supposes that it is intended for some sort of 
geometrical exercise ; but I suppose that it is 
in reality a bridge of honor, reserved for the 
gods and the good genii who come to visit 
the Temple. 

The bridge on the left is quite flat, con- 
structed of wood covered with red lacquer^ 
with balusters arvd other ornaments in old 
pohshed copper. The pond crossed by the 
stone bridge is covered with magnificent 
white lotus flowers, — the pond crossed by 
the wooden bridge with red lotus flowers. 
Among the leaves of the flowers we saw 
numbers of fish, some red and others Hke 
mother of pearl, with glittering fins, swim- 
ming about in water of crystal clearness. 
The black tortoise glides among the great 
water-plants and clings to their stems. 

After having thoroughly enjoyed this most 
attractive spectacle, we go on towards the 
second enclosure. It is raised a few steps, 
higher than the first, and, as it is protected 
by an additional sanctity, it is only to be 
approached through the gate of the divine 
guardians of the sanctuary. This building, 
which stands opposite the bridges, contains 
two monstrous idols, placed side by side in 



THE RESIDENCE OF THE SHOGUNS. 



339 



the centre of the edifice. They are sculp- 
tured in wood, and are covered from head 
to foot with a thick coating of vermiHon. 
Their grinning faces and their enormous 
busts are spotted all over with innumerable 
pieces of chewed paper, which the native 
visitors throw at them when passing, with- 
out any more formalty than would be used 
by a number of schoolboys out for a holi- 
day. 

Nevertheless, it is considered a very serious 
act on the part of pilgrims. It is the means 
by which they make the prayer written on 
the sheet of chewed paper reach its address, 
and when they wish to recommend anything 
to the gods very strongly, indeed, they bring 
as an offering a pair of straw slippers plaited 
with regard to the size of the feet of the 
Colossus, and hang them on the iron rail- 
ings within which the statues are enclosed. 
Articles of this kind, suspended by thou- 
sands to the bars, remain there until they 
fall av.ay in time, and it may be supposed 
that this curious ornamentation is anything 
but beautiful. 

He Shook His Head. 
Here a lay brother of the bonzes ap- 
proached us, and his interested views were 
easily enough detected by his bearing. We 
hastened to assure him that we required 
nothing from his good offices, except access 
to an enclosed building. With a shake of 
his head, so as to make us understand that 
we were asking for an impossibilit\-, he simply 
set himself to follow us about with the me- 
chanical precision of a subaltern. He was 
quite superfluous, but we did not allow his 
presence to interfere with our admiration. A 
high terrace, reached by a long stone stair- 
case, surmounted the second enclosure. It 
is sustained by a Cyclopean wall, and in its 
turn supports the principal Temple as well 



as the habitations of the bonzes which are 
placed adjoining. 

The grey roofs of all these different build- 
ings stand out against the sombre forest of 
cedars and pines. On our left are the build- 
ings of the Treasury ; one of them has a 
pyramidal roof surmounted by a turret of 
bronze most elegantly worked. At the foot 
of the great terrace is the Chapel of the 
Ablutions. On our right stands a tall 
pagoda, constructed on the principle of the 
Chinese pagodas, but in a more sober and 
severe st}'Ie. 

Unique Building. 

The first stage, of a quadrangular form, is 
supported by pillars ;' the second stage con- 
sists of a vast circular gallery, which, though 
extremely massive, seems to rest simply upon 
a pivot. A painted roof, terminated by a 
tall spire of cast bronze, embellished with 
pendants of the same metal, completes the 
effect of this strange but exquisitely propor- 
tioned building. 

All the doors of the buildings which I have 
enumerated are in good taste. The fine pro- 
portions, the rich brown coloring of the 
wood, which is almost the only material em- 
ployed in their construction, is enhanced by 
a few touches of red and dragon green, and 
the effect of the whole is perfect ; — add to 
the picture a frame of ancient trees and the 
extreme brilliancy of the sky, for the atmos- 
phere of Japan is the most transparent in 
the world. 

We went beyond the pagoda to visit a 
bell-tower, where we were shown a large 
bell beautifully engraved, and an oratory on 
each side containing three golden images, a 
large one in the centre, and two small ones 
at either side. Each was surrounded by a 
nimbus. This beautiful Temple of Hatchi- 
man is consecrated to a Kami; but it is 



340 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



quite evident that the religious customs of 
India have supplanted the ancient worship ; 
we had several proors ox' this tact. 

When we were about to turn back we 
were solicited by the lay brother to go with 
him a little further. We complied, and he 
stopped us under a tree laden with offerings 
at the foot of which stands a block of stone, 
surrounded by a barrier. This stone, which 
is probably indebted to the chisels of the 
bonzes for its peculiar form, is venerated by 
the multitude, and largely endowed with 
voluntary offerings. Like the peoples of the 
extreme East the Japanese are very super- 
stitious ; a fact of which we had abundant 
evidence on this and other occasions. 

Image of the God of Wealth. 

The Temple towards which we directed 
our steps on leaving the avenue of the 
Temple of Hatchiman, immediately diverted 
our thoughts from the grandeur of this 
picture. It is admirably situated on the 
summit of a promontory, whence we over- 
look the whole Bay of Kamakoura ; but it 
is always sad to come, in the midst of beau- 
tiful nature, upon a so-called holy place 
which inspires nothing but disgust. The 
principal sanctuary, at first sight, did not 
strike us as remarkable. Insignificant 
golden idols stand upon the high altar ; and 
in a side chapel there is an image of the God 
of Wealth, armed with a miner's hammer. 

But when the bonzes who received us 
conducted us behind the high altar, and 
thence into a sort of cage as dark as a 
prison and as high as a tower, they lighted 
two lanterns, and stuck them at the end of a 
long pole. Then, by this ghmmering light, 
which entirely failed to disperse the shades 
of the roof, we perceived that we were stand- 
ing in front of an enormous idol of gilt wood, 
about twelve yards high, holding in its right 



hand a sceptre, in its left a lotus, and wearing 
a. tiara composed of three rows of heads, 
representing the inferior divinities. 

This gigantic idol belongs to the religion 
of the auxiliary gods of the Buddhist my- 
thology: the Amidas and the Quannons, 
intercessors who collect the prayers of men 
and transmit them to heaven. By means of 
similar religious conceptions, the bonzes 
strike a superstitious terror into the imagina- 
tions of their followers, and succeed in keep- 
ing them in a state of perpetual fear and 
folly. 

We then went to see the Daiboudhs, 
which is the wonder of Kamakoura. This 
building is dedicated to the Daiboudhs, that 
is to say, to the great Buddha, and may be 
regarded as the most finished work of Japa- 
nese genius, from the double points of view 
of art and religious sentiment. The Temple 
of Hatchiman had already given us a re- 
markable example of the use which native 
art makes of nature in producing that im- 
pression of religious majesty which in our 
northern climates is effected by Gothic archi- 
tecture. 

Temple of Buddha. 
The Temple of Daiboudhs differs con- 
siderably from the first which we had seen. 
Instead of the great dimensions, instead of 
the illimitable space which seemed to stretch 
from portal to portal down to the sea, a soli- 
tary and mysterious retreat prepares the 
mind for some supernatural revelation. The 
road leads far away from every habitation ; 
in the direction of the mountain it winds 
about between hedges of tall shrubs. 
Finally, we see nothing before us but the 
high road, going up and up in the midst of 
foliage and flowers ; then it turns in a totally 
different direction, and all of a sudden, at 
the end of the alley, we perceive a gigantic 




a. 
< 

d 
o 

Eh 



iz; 

D 
CO 

m 

Eh 



THE RESIDENCE OF THE SHOGUNS. 



341 



brazen Divinity, squatting with joined hands, 
and the head sHghtly bent forward, in an 
attitude of contemplative ecstasy. 

The involuntary amazement produced by 
the aspect of this great image soon gives 
place to admiration. There is an irresistible 
charm in the attitude of the Daiboudhs, as 
well as in the harmony of its proportions. 
The noble simplicity of its garments and the 
calm purity of its features are in perfect 
accord with the sentiment of serenity in- 
spired by its presence. A grove, consisting 
of some beautiful groups of trees, forms the 
enclosure of the sacred place, whose silence 
and solitude are never disturbed. The small 
cell of the attendant priest can hardly be 
discerned amongst the foliage. 

Beautiful Altar. 

The altar, on which a little incense is 
burning; at the feet of the Divinity, is com- 
posed of a small brass table ornamented by 
two lotus vases of the same metal, and 
beautifully wrought. The steps of the altar 
are composed of large slabs forming regular 
lines. The blue of the sky, the deep shadow 
of the statue, the sombre color of the brass, 
the brilliancy of the flowers, the varied ver- 
dure of the hedges and the groves, fill this 
solemn retreat with the richest effect of light 
and color. The idol of the Daiboudhs, with 
the platform which supports it, is twenty 
yards high ; it is far from equal in elevation 
to the statue of St. Charles Borromeo, which 
may be seen from Arona on the borders of 
Lake Maggiore, but which affects the spec- 
tator no more than a trigometrical signal- 
post. 

The interiors of these two colossal statues 
have been utilized. The European tourists 
seat themselves in the nose of the holy car- 
dinal. The Japanese descend by a secret 
staircase into the foundations of their Dai- 



boudhs, and there they find a peaceful 
oratory, whose altar is lighted by a ray oi 
sunshine admitted through an opening in the 
folds of the mantle at the back of the idol's 
neck. It would be idle to discuss to what 
extent the Buddha of Kamakoura resembles 
the Buddha of history, but it is important to 
remark that he is conformable to the Buddha 
of tradition. 

The Buddhists have made one authentic 
and sacramental image of the founder of their 
religion, covered with characters carefully 
numbered, \\ith thirtj'-two principal signs 
and eighty secondary marks, so that it may 
be transmitted to future ages in all its in- 
tegrity. The Japanese idol conforms in all 
essential respects to this established type ot 
the great Hindoo reformer. It scrupulously 
reproduces the meditative attitudes ; thus "it 
was that the sage joined his hands, the 
fingers straightened, and thumb resting 
against thumb ; thus he squatted, the legs 
bent and gathered up one over the other, 
the right foot lying upon the left knee. 

Features of the Idol. 

The broad smooth brow is also to be 
recognized, and the hair forming a multitude 
of short curls. Even the singular protuber- 
ance of the skull, which slightly disfigures 
the top of the head, exists in the statue, and 
also a tuft of white hairs between the eye- 
brows, indicated by a little rounded excre- 
scence in the metal. 

All these marks, however, do not consti- 
tute the physiognomy, the expression of the 
personage. In this respect the Daiboudhs 
of Kamakoura has nothing in common with 
the fantastic dolls which are worshipped in 
China under the name of Buddhas, and the 
fact appears worthy of notice, because Bud- 
dhism was introduced into Japan from China. 

The first effect of Buddhist preaching in 



342 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



Japan must have been to arouse curiosity 
among the islanders, who are as inquisitive 
and restless as the Hindoos are taciturn and 



which are only making their first voyage of 
discovery in the regions of metaphysics ! As 
they did not feel any impatience to plunge 




BAPTISM OF BUDDHA. 



contemplative, and wish to have a reason for 
for every thing. 

What a vast field of exploration for minds 



into Nirwana, they were chiefly interested in 
finding out what was to come to pass be- 
tween the death and the final extinction. 



THE RESIDENCE OF THE SHOGUNS. 



343 



With the assistance of the bonzes, a certain 
number of accepted ideas about the soul, 
death, and the Hfe to come, were put in cir- 
culation in the towns and in the villages, 
without prejudice, it must be understood, to 
all that had been taught by ancestral wisdom 
concerning the ancient gods and the vener- 
able national Kamis. 

The soul of man, it was said, was like a 
floating vapor, indissoluble, having the form 
of a tiny worm, ahd a thin thread of blood 
which runs from the top of the head to the 
extremity' of the tail. If it were closely 
observed it might be seen to escape from the 
house of death, at the moment when the 
dying person heaves his last sigh. At all 
times, the cracking of the panel may be 
heard as the soul passes through it. 

The Wonderful Mirror. 

Whither does it go? No one knows; but 
it cannot fail to be received by the minister- 
ing servants of the great j udge of hell. They 
bring it before his tribunal, and the judge 
causes it to kneel before a mirror, in which 
it beholds all the evil of which it has been 
guilty. This is a phenomenon which is 
occasionally produced upon the earth : a 
comedian in Yeddo, who had committed a 
murder, could not look into his mirror with- 
out his gaze being met by the livid face of 
his victim. 

Souls, laden with crime, wander in one or 
other of the eighteen concentric circles of 
hell, according to the gravity of their of- 
fences. Souls in process of purification 
sojourn in a purgatory whose lid they may 
lift up when they can do so without fear of 
falling, and resume the progressive course of 
their pilgrimage. 

In the case of a woman who, being de- 
serted, drowned herself with her child, she 
is popularly believed to present herself before 



all wayfarers by the side of the marsh, hold- 
ing up the infant, in protest against her be- 
trayers as the real author of her crime. 
Finally, there are souls who return to the 
places which they inhabited, or to the rest- 
nig-place of their mortal remains. 

Ghosts and Demons. 

Ghost stories, terrible tales, books illus- 
trated by pictures representing hell or 
apparitions of demons, have multiplied in 
Japan with such profusion, that the popular 
imagination is completely possessed by them. 
The patron of literature of this kind, accord- 
ing to the national m>i:hology, is Tengou, 
the god of dreams, a burlesque winged 
genius, whose head-dress is an extinguisher 
with a golden handle. He leads the noc- 
turnal revelry of all the objects, sacred or 
profane, which can fill the imagination of 
man. The refuge of death itself is not closed 
against him. The candelabra bend their 
heads, pierced with luminous holes, with a 
measured motion. The stone tortoises which 
bear the epitaphs move in a grim, orderly 
march, and grinning skeletons, clad in their 
shrouds, join the fantastic measure, waving 
about them the holy- water brush which drives 
away evil spirits. 

In spite of some difference in style, and of 
its exceptional dimensions, the noble Japan- 
ese statue is the fellow of those of which 
great numbers are to be seen in the islands 
of Java and Ceylon ; those sacred refuges 
which were opened to Buddhism when it was 
expelled from India. There the type of the 
hero of Contemplation is preserved most 
religiously, and appears under its most 
exquisite form, in marvellous images of 
basalt, granite, and clay, generally above the 
human stature. 

This type, for the most part conventional, 
although perfectly authentic in the eyes of 



344 



JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. 



faith, is, especially for the Cingalese priests, 
who are devoted to the art of statuary, the 
unique subject of the indefatigable labor by 
which they strive to realize ideal perfection. 
They have in fact produced work of such 
purity as has hardly been surpassed by the 
Madonnas of Raphael. 

Japan has inherited somewhat of the lofty 
tradition of the Buddhist Isles. Apostles 
from those distant shores have probably 
visited it. On the other hand, it has suf- 
fered to an extreme degree, and under the 
influence of its nearest neighbors, all the 
fatal consequences of the doctrine of the 
master himself, and especially the monstrous 
vagaries of his disciples. It would be an 
unprofitable task to undertake to trace the 
pure and abstract doctrine of the founder of 
the " Good Tao " in Japanese Buddhism. 
The Proteus of Greek fable, he adds, is not 
less intangible than the Good Tao in its 
metamorphoses among the various peoples 
of Asia and the Far East. 

Good Sense Recommended. 

Every sort of modification and addition is 
justified beforehand by the following adage, 
which seems to have been the watchword of 
the missionaries of Buddhism : " Everything 
that agrees with good sense and circum- 
stances agrees with truth, and ought to 
serve as a rule." The Temples of Kama- 
koura furnish many examples in support 
of this observation. 

The civil wars which brought about the 
ruin of Kamakoura had few points of interest 
in themselves. From the fourteenth to the 
sixteenth century, the Empire of Japan pre- 
sented a spectacle of increasing anarchy, 
which threatened the work of political cen- 
tralization which had been inaugurated by 
Yoritomo. 

A domestic quarrel arose within the Dairi 



itself, which forced the legitimate sovereign 
to yield Kioto to his competitor; and, during 
nearly sixty years, six Mikados successively 
occupied the pontificial throne, by usurpa- 
tion, while the real descendents of the Sun 
had to submit to holding their Court at 
Yosimo, a small borough situated on the 
south of the capital, in the province of 
Yomato. At length a family arrangement 
put an end to this public scandal ; and the 
hundred and first Mikado, He of the South, 
resumed possession of his holy city, and 
solemnly revived the fiction of his theocratic 
sovereignty. 

Scenes of Blood. 

On the other hand, the power of the Sho- 
guni, was the object of strenuous rivalries, 
which carried fire and sword through Kioto 
and Kamakoura by turns, and did not shrink 
even from fratricide. The feudal nobles took 
advantage of the general confusion to make 
one more attempt to break through their 
vassalage to the crown or its lieutenants. 

When, in the year 1582, the Shogun 
Nobounanga was surprised and massacred, 
with his entire family, in his own palace, the 
Empire seemed to be on the brink of disso- 
lution. It was saved by an adventurer, the 
son of a peasant, who had begun life as a 
groom in the service of the Shogun. His 
grave and taciturn demeanor, matured by 
the vicissitudes of a vagabond youth, attracted 
the attention of his new master. He was 
frequently observed squatting in the attitude 
of persons of his class, near the stalls in 
which the horses in his charge stood, his 
arms stretched out on his knees, and his 
mind plunged in deep reverie. 

Nobounanga offered him a military career. 
The ex-groom, become General Faxiba, dis- 
tinguished himself by brilliant deeds, for 
which he was raised to the rank of Daimio. 



THE RESIDENCE OF THE SHOGUNS. 



345 



On the death of his benefactor, he undertook 
to avenge him, and he commanded, under 
the name of Fide-Yosi, the troops which 
were sent into the provinces of the great 
vassals who had revolted. Two years suf- 
ficed for the suppression of the rebellion. 
His return to Kioto was a genuine triumph. 
The Mikado solemnly invested him with the 
chief title of the Dairi — that of Quamboukou, 
and proclaimed him his lieutenant-general. 

Then Fide-Yosi carried his sword into 
another scene of strife. Every one of the 
thousand divinities of the Buddhist myth- 
ology had taken his place in Japan. There 
they had temples, statues, monastic frater- 
nities. Bonzes, monks, nuns, abounded 
throughout the Empire, and principally in 
the centre and south of Niphon. Each con- 
vent vied with its neighbors for the public 
favor. 

Furious Conflicts. 

By degrees the competition became so 
vehement, that jealousy, hatred, and envy 
embittered the mutual relations of certain 
powerful and ambitious orders. From in- 
vective they proceeded to violence. The 
Imperial police interfered in the earlier con- 
flicts of the tonsured foes, but they were soon 
powerless to oppose the torrent. Bands of 
furious men in soutanes and habits, armed 
with sticks, pikes and flails, came down in 
the night upon the territory of the fraternity 
with whom they were at variance; ravaged 
everything that came in their way ; ill- 
treated, killed or dispersed the victims of 
their surprise, and did not retire until they 
had set fire to the four quarters of the bonze- 
house. 

But the aggressors, sooner or later, in their 
turn assailed unawares, under%vent similar 
treatment Six times, in the course of the 
twelfth century, the monks of the convent on 



the Yelsan burned the bonze-house of Djen- 
sjoi ; twice the monks of Djensjosi burned 
the convent of Yeisan to ashes. 

Similar scenes were enacted in various 
parts of Niphon. In order to protect their 
convents from a sudden attack, rich priors 
converted themselves into fortresses. Their 
audacity increased with the incapacit>^ of the 
Government. Inimical fraternities had armed 
encounters under the very walls of the tem- 
ples which they possessed in the capitals. 

Damage by Fire. 

A portion of the Dairi was sacked, ii» 
1283, after one of these encounters. A 
temple in Kioto having been fired in 1 5 36,. 
the flames spread to an adjacent quarter, and 
immense damage was done. The efforts of 
the Shogun Nebounanga to reduce the in- 
surgent fraternity to submission were ren- 
dered fruitless by the entrenchments from 
behind which they opposed him. 

Fide-Yosi resolved to make an end, once 
for all, of the quarrels of the monks. He 
surprised, captured and occupied the most 
militant bonze-houses, demolished their de- 
fences, transported all the monks who had. 
broken the public peace to distant islands,, 
and placed the whole of the Japanese clergy, 
without distinction, under the superinten- 
dence of an active, severe and inexorable 
I>olice. He enacted that thenceforth the 
bonzes